Many Americans often find themselves sitting for at least eight hours a day – whether it’s sitting at an office desk or lounging on the couch after a long day of work. This is alarming for a couple of reasons: a sedentary lifestyle reduces your life expectancy, and poor posture can lead to a variety of injuries. But, with 83% of jobs requiring being sedentary for most of the day, what can you do to reduce your risks?
How to Properly Sit at a Computer Desk
If you’re spending most of your time behind a desk, then it’s likely that at some point during the day, you develop poor posture while sitting. Fatigue, boredom, comfortability – these all play a role in how you sit while working. To prevent yourself from slumping into bad habits, follow these tips:
- Adjust your chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are in line with your hips
- Sit up straight and keep your hips far back in the chair
- Recline the back of your chair at a 100-110 degree angle
- Keep the keyboard close and directly in front of you
- Place your monitor directly in front of you and a few inches above eye level
- Sit at least 20 inches — or arm’s length — away from the monitor
- Relax your shoulders and monitor if they rise toward your ears or round forward throughout the day
If you have a desk that rises up — allowing you to stand — then your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle to reach your keyboard directly in front of you. The monitor should still be directly in front of you and at least 20 inches away.
Conditions or Injuries Caused by Poor Posture
When you develop poor posture from sitting, you often experience pain in different parts of the body, depending on the posture you’ve adopted. Pain in these areas can create a domino effect – often impacting other parts of the body. The most common injuries or conditions associated with poor posture include:
- Sciatica or Piriformis syndrome
- Shoulder/neck pain
- Patellofemoral knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Shoulder impingement
- Jaw pain from clenching your teeth
- Hand/wrist pain
How to Prevent Poor Posture Injuries
In addition to improving your posture, there are several things you can do to prevent injuries and conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Some of these preventative measures include:
- Taking stretch breaks every 30 minutes
- Standing up for a couple of minutes after sitting for an hour
- Getting away from your desk for lunch
- Looking away from your monitor periodically
- Resting your eyes by closing them or placing your palms over them for 10-15 seconds
- Purchasing ergonomic office supplies – including a keyboard, mouse, or mousepad
- Requesting or purchasing a chair that provides adequate lumbar support
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you’re experiencing pain from poor posture, let us help you. We’ll tailor a treatment plan that’s best for your lifestyle and get you back to doing the things you love.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.