How to sit at a computer

Stiff neck? Tight shoulders? Chronic back pain? You're not alone.

Andi Lew, chiropractic assistant and co-author of 7 Things Your Doctor Forgot To Tell You has the following advice for your desk set up, because she claims that “spending a few moments to make simple ergonomic changes to your work environment will improve your comfort, minimise back, neck and shoulder pain and increase productivity

“At the end of the day you will feel much less tired and stiff, both physically and mentally, and have more energy,” claims Andi.

The Keyboard

  • Position it above your lap. Ensure that you can type with your arms relaxed and close to your body, elbows bent at 90 degrees, and your wrists level.

The Computer Monitor

  • Position it directly in front of you.
  • Keep it free of dirt and smudges, to create less glare.
  • Don’t have the computer screen too low. It should be at eye level or even above to maintain the natural ‘banana-bend’ curve in you neck. Constant focus causes eyestrain.

Allow the muscles in your eyes to relax by taking a 20 second break every 20 minutes, and gaze at an object 20 feet away from you.

The Mouse

Some people have an unconscious vise-like grip on the mouse, as if it’s alive and trying to get away.

  • Try using a light grip, and you’ll do more with less strain.
  • When you move the mouse, try to move your arm from the elbow rather than the wrist.

The Telephone

  • Use your hand to support the telephone against your ear.
  • Alternate ears frequently.
  • Never cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder.

The Chair

  • Sit upright, with your bottom against the back of the chair.
  • For extra support and comfort, you can purchase a lumbar roll or roll up a towel and place it against the arch of your back.
  • Your chair's height should be adjusted so that your knees are bent at a 90-100° angle, with your feet touching the floor.

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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.