Many of us are at home more with increased computer use. Follow these handy tips to help your body handle sitting at the computer for longer periods of time.
Computer Posture 101
Adjust your computer monitor height so that the top of the screen is at eye level so that your head doesn’t have to tilt. You may need a monitor stand (or similar household items) in order to achieve this.
Pull your shoulders back and keep your back against your chair—don’t perch.
Rest your feet on the ground. If the chair is too high, use a footrest.
Use a back support cushion to help keep your upper back straight, keep your spine aligned and prevent slouching. Lumbar cushions are readily available and aren't expensive. Be sure to get one that straps to your chair so that it stays in place and is comfortable.
Adjust your chair so you can use the keyboard/touchpad with your wrists and forearms straight and level, in order to prevent repetitive strain injuries.
Elbows should be by the side of your body, so your arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint.
Adjust the screen distance so that you can read the words without straining or leaning inward in order to maintain proper posture and avoid eye strain. Use reading glasses, if needed, to maintain proper distance from the screen.
Other tips for computer use:
-Keep your mouse close. If you’re not using the keyboard/mouse, push them aside so you can maintain proper posture.
-Avoid screen reflection to keep the screen as glare-free as possible to maintain posture and avoid eye strain. You can also adjust the screen brightness or room lighting as needed.
-Take regular breaks. Don’t sit in the same position for too long. Bring your shoulder blades together, stretch your neck in all directions, and stand periodically. Frequent short breaks are better for your back than infrequent long breaks.