Sitting at your computer for any period of time can be a very exhausting even painful experience, fixating on a computer screen fatigues by overriding natural reflexes that coordinate and align posture, properly sit. And too many workplace injuries that could be avoided, prevention is always the better option than cure. This is a checklist to that you can carry out at your workstation, to make sure you’re comfortable, safe and productive at the office.
Workplace Ergonomics is generally the optimization of the workplace so that the bodily harm is reduced. This is achieved by providing properly sit, lighting, ventilation and by providing stuff that places less stress on body. In case of computers, it is the chair, desk, computer keyboard and mouse etc.
The most common problem among people working for long time on computers is the lower back pain. This generates over time and is hard to treat, making people dependent on pain killers etc.
To avoid this, use a chair that is adjustable. The slant of back of the chair should be around 100 to 110 percent. 90 percent is too straight and won’t be of any comfort. More than 125 percent will place stress on other parts of body – neck and eyes especially. 100 to 110 percent is ideal to keep the back problems away – provided you rest your entire back on the chair back.
Properly Sit on a Flat Chair
Most chairs are not designed for sitting rather they are designed for appearance and for stacking. Ergonomically designed chairs are often just band-aid efforts to release tension that is already created from poor positioning. Many of the ergonomically designed chairs do not solve the problem where it originates.
Choose a chair with a firm flat seat. If your chair has a hollow or bucket type of seat modify the chair using a firm solid pillow or folded blanket placed in the hollow.
Properly Sit with Your Weight in Front of Sits Bones
Many people sit behind the pelvic sits bones (ischial tuberosites) curling the pelvis under thus rounding the lower back and causing the neck and head to forward thrust. If you do not sense your sits bones than find them with your fingers. Lift up your butt and pull your butt muscles away behind you, then sit down slightly in front of the round bones (you can feel that are under your butt).
Keep Your Feet on the Floor
Although changing leg positions can be very helpful in reducing the fatigue that comes with stillness its helpful to have your feet placed firmly on the ground. Doing so provides an energetic grounding as well as aiding structural stability. The nerves of the feet help stabilize and co-ordinate posture. Energetically the psoas muscle is the grounding wire of the human electrical system. This energy is translated from the psoas through the legs and needs to be received into the ground. Staying grounded helps reduce fatigue.
Arm Rest and Shoulders
If the chair has arm rest, use them so that the pressure on shoulders is reduced. On chairs without arm rest, the entire pressure is placed on shoulders. If you cannot buy a chair with arm rest, you can place your elbows on legs after crossing them. But this workaround of crossing legs and placing elbows on the legs can also be dangerous in long run. It is okay for short periods. Remember that if you keep the legs crossed (like resting one foot on the knee of other leg), blood flow to the legs will be affected.
To avoid problems to legs and to care for your shoulders, use a chair with arm rests. If the arm rests are adjustable, it is even better because one size does not fit all. If you don’t have a chair with arm rest, try to buy one as soon as possible. You won’t want to live with shoulder pain all your life.
When talking about correct posture to properly sit in front of computer, it is important to note the position of wrists. The basic thing is to provide a rest to the wrists. Many of us keep on typing with wrists in the air. This practice places too much stress on wrists and if continued for longer periods, will cause permanent wrist pain.
If yours is a laptop, it comes with wrist rest on either side of touchpad. If you are using regular keyboards, there are many keyboards that are based on ergonomics.
If you don’t have an ergonomic keyboard, every fifteen minutes, rest your wrists placing the hands on legs or somewhere comfortable for a minute or two.
Neck and Eyes
To prevent illness, you should be looking down at the screen. Do not be seated in a position where you have to pull your neck up and strain the muscles. Do not use a position that makes you look above the straight line of vision (a straight line would mean using eyes in the front without raising them).
In addition to the above, it is recommended that you move away from the computer at regular intervals. While on computer, people forget to blink – which increases the stress on the retina. This should never be taken lightly as it can cause blindness. There are third party programs available that remind you to take a break from staring at the screen like EyeLeo.
In short, when we talk about correct posture to properly sit in front of computer, we are talking about ergonomics: the practice of avoiding discomfort to any part of your body. Your back, legs, neck and feet should be properly rested. Your eyes should keep on blinking and look either straight or a bit lower at the screen.