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As a back sufferer, I know how important it is to sit properly. When sitting we place a lot of weight on the lower segments of the back – the lumbar spine. This can get locked into position and you become stiff and suffer pain.
Here are some points to consider when working at your desk.
In a report the Health and Safety Executive said that:
8.9 million working days lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders in 2016/17 with a staggering 507,000 workers suffering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders (new or long-standing) in 2016/17 – you can see the article Here.
That’s a lot of time and a lot of people.
Here are some top tips for sitting properly.
I know, I know, good chairs are so expensive. However have you thought about how long you spend sitting in it working? What would be the cost to you and your business of having a chair that did not support your back fully? How much lost working time can you afford? A good chair should support your back, it should rock back and forth to stop your pelvis getting stuck and painful. You need to be able to adjust the height, the arm rests the tilt. See it as an investment in your working environment.
Place your feet on the floor, they should be flat. If you can’t reach to place your feet flat then get a footrest. There are all sorts of footrests about from fixed to adjustable. Find the right one for you.
Make sure that the monitor is directly in front of you and about an arms length away from you with the top of the screen is at eye level. This will avoid eye strain. You may need a monitor stand to achieve this.
Place your keyboard in front of you when typing. Leave a gap at the front of the desk to rest your wrists in between bouts of typing. You could also use a wrist rest to the wrists straight and at the same level as the keys.
Keep your mouse close to you so that you don’t have to stretch to an awkward angle to use it. If you are not using the keyboard and you are using the mouse, move the keyboard out of the way and put the mouse in front of you.
If you have varifocals or bifocals you may find it difficult to look at the monitor as you will be raising your head up and down to get the best vision. This can cause neck strain and pain. Talk to your options about having a pair of glasses for computer work.
Avoid stretching or twisting to get to things. Keep your stapler, hole punch, phone nearby.
Get a good headset or earphones for your phone. Holding your phone between your ear and your shoulder is not a good look 🙂 It is also bad for your neck!
I don’t mean stop for ages, just a brief break away from your screen and out of your chair.
Place your printer at a distance so that you have to get up and go to another place to fetch your printouts – that way you have to move.
Get up – make a cup of tea or coffee, stretch your legs – get moving. We have a tendency when focussed on a task to sit glued to the monitor and keyboard for a long time. This is not good for your back!
I invested in a sit/stand desk that can be adjusted to accommodate me standing to work or sitting to work. I do tend to work standing up much more than sitting down and find that my back pain is not as bad.
How has this article helped you? Will you change the way you sit at the desk at all and if so what will you change? Let me know in the comments.
I will help you be more productive and earn more money as a virtual assistant. As a trainer with 20 years experience, you'll love how you'll get between 4-8 hours a week back when you use Microsoft tools to their fullest potential. I'm also the author of several best-selling books on Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, published at www.bookboon.com . Subscribe and get more productive!