Importance Of Posture: Low Tech
Do you know the importance of posture at your computer desk?
This is part 8 of my series on ergonomics.
I’ve written about time management and in some cases, “high” technology, but this time I will turn my attention to the “low tech” technologies of chairs and tables!
In fact, how you sit at your computer is so important that I really should have started my series with this post! (Oh well, one day I might get it right…)
Your posture dictates the position of your body and limbs, from your feet right up to your head and can therefore affect every part of your body, even your little finger!
Hint: Proper position is all about right angles.
The correct position has:
- Your feet flat on the floor*
- Knees bent at right angles
- Hips at right angles
- Back and neck straight
- Head straight – your eyes should be level with the top 1/4 of your monitor
- Arms relaxed by your sides with your elbows bent at right angles
- Hands in a comfortable position for typing without stretching your arms
- If you are shorter than the average, you may also find a foot rest helpful to get this right
Importance Of Posture: The Table/Desk
Having said the above, it follows on that your desk needs to be set up correctly.
Ideally, you want it to be:
- Adjustable to the correct height (to facilitate arms and head/eyes position)
- To have enough space for your equipment
- Clear of clutter (easier said than done!)
This equipment would include your keyboard, monitor and mouse discussed in previous posts, but also space for writing/reading.
It also stands to reason that the desk should be deep enough to give you enough distance between you and the monitor.
If you do a lot of reading as part of your job, a reading stand may be of use.
Importance Of Posture: Your Chair
And of course, you need a chair to sit on!
Again, it needs to be:
- Adjustable for height and depth
- Provide support for your back
- Allow you to rest your arms
The depth adjustment is often forgotten but is required to make sure that the front of the seat gives support to your legs but doesn’t dig into the back of your knees.
Importance Of Posture: Don’t Forget To Move
Remember: Just as important as getting your position right, is the need to change it often.
Resting your arms is part of this and some people like the use of arm rests on the chair.
To be honest, I’ve never found them useful myself.
They always seem to be a stretch to get my arms onto them and when they are in the right position, they bump into the desk thus preventing me from getting into proper typing position.
So some people may find them useful but be warned: Your mileage may vary!
For details of proper typing position please see my previous post.
Next time, I’ll be looking at another alternative to mouse and keyboard use, which may have you talking all about it…
This is part 8 of a series of articles on Ergonomics and computers.
Follow the links below to the rest of the series:
- Part 1 – What Is RSI?
- Part 2 – Reduce And Manage Your Time
- Part 3 – The Evils Of Mice
- Part 4 – The Ergonomic Keyboard
- Part 5 – Mouse Alternatives (Trackballs)
- Part 6 – Mouse Alternatives (Tablets)
- Part 7 – Mouse Alternatives (Ergonomic Mouse)
- Part 8 – The Importance Of Posture
- Part 9 – Gripmaster Hand Exerciser
- Part 10 – 5 Free Software Tools To Prevent RSI
- Related Post – How High Should Your Chair Be?