If you’ve ever wondered why you’re having back pain even though you’re not lifting heavy weights constantly, it’s most likely because you’re not sitting properly. For anyone who’s wondering what the best posture is for sitting, science would tell you that there is actually an ergonomic and utterly safe way to sit – especially for those who spend a lot of hours in front of a computer desk while working.
First things first, consider the Computer Monitor and your Eye Level.
It’s important to have your eyes in line with the area of the screen you focus on the most, whether that’s the top (if you’re sending lots of emails), or the bottom (if you’re writing a bunch of programming code, for example). Looking down at your screen puts excess strain on your neck, which leaves you vulnerable to injuries such as cervical disc herniation, cervical strains, and headaches.
Though most modern-age computer monitors already have a way to increase its height, stacking books under your monitor is a simple trick if you need to raise your screen to be at eye level. Especially with office workers or work-from-home employees, maintaining a good eye level with the computer monitor is tantamount to healthy vision and proper posture. It is also important to take note that if you happen to be a multi-monitor worker, make sure you apply this tip to the monitor you use the most—the last thing you want is an injury from looking sideways all day.
Now, look at your desk.
Anything that you constantly use – such as your mobile phone, the mouse, or coffee mug – can be a source of physical stress on your body if you’re always reaching out to grab it. Instead of forcing your body to overwork (and be in an uncomfortable position), keep these must-use items within a foot of a distance from where you’re seated. In this way, you can minimize the amount of physical strain your body may experience.
Next is the arm positioning.
Human physiology tells you that when your arms are stretched and extended, your shoulders start to rotate forward, causing you to lose strength in your upper back. Because of this, you always have to consider your arm positioning as it is equally important to sitting ergonomics. To avoid shoulder injuries and chronic upper back pain, keep your arms at a comfortable 90-degree angle at a nice, neutral resting position.
Additionally, you should never take for granted what armrests are for – chairs come with armrests for a reason, particularly to aid your arm positioning for the most comfortable way possible.
Now, take note of the proper back positioning.
Always consider that your back should be comfortable and supported, with a small curve in the lumbar spine where your natural lower back is. Without support, the back tends to get too much of a curve in the opposite direction — what’s known as kyphosis, or more commonly, hunchback — leaving the lower back perfectly exposed to disc herniation and chronic postural lower back sprains and strains.
With this in mind, if you don’t have a chair that can provide support, look for pillows, blankets, or some stuffed objects in your house to keep your back comfortable at all times.
Legs and Feet shouldn’t be taken for granted.
When your legs are crossed or just your toes are touching the floor, you’re putting unnecessary stress on large supportive muscles and hampering proper blood flow. Even little things such as keeping your legs crossed all day long – can lead to chronic pain. It’s totally alright to cross your legs from time to time, but this shouldn’t be your most accessed positioning for your legs and feet.
Lastly, take note of your vertical alignment.
While seated, you should never want to be reaching or leaning forward. According to researches, for every inch that the head comes forward, the spine feels like is has taken on an extra 10 pounds. This alone can bring major strain on your muscles.