A Perfect Guide for Proper Sitting Posture at a Computer

Reviewed by Betsy Sanchez
Betsy Sanchez

Betsy Sanchez is a professional graphic designer with over 10 years of experience. She loves all things tech and that's why she started writing on different topics online now here, working with us to help the audience who are looking for perfect comfort.

Proper Sitting Posture at a Computer

A computer is now, by all means, the most efficient resource for work as the world is moving towards digitization. As per the recent survey, 80.5 percent of working people in a managerial and professional specialty occupation and 70.5% in technical sales and administrative support occupations use a computer.

For this part of our population, about 8 to 9 hours of a day is spent sitting in front of the computer with some added time after reaching home.

Thus, there is no wonder that our poor posture is having a negative effect on our health in one way or another.

Well, if you are already in one of those fields, chances are you are already going through the negative impact of the sitting posture, such as 

  • Potbelly
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Neck and bodily pain
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Eyesight 

But, these are not just the come-and-go impacts. The studies of Better Health Australia conclude that these ailments can easily develop into something serious leading to either permanent damage to the spinal cord or increased chances of heart-related disorders.

So, if you are already going through these ailments, this is high time you need to get serious and do something about it. 

Well, not anymore, as you have landed up in the right spot aimed at rescuing and guiding your needs. This content will shed light on a perfect guide to improve your sitting postures after filtering the instructions and advice of senior-most, experienced professionals. 

After going through this guide, you can be ensured of a healthy lifestyle despite needing to sit in front of your computer which is inevitable when working.

So, let’s dive in. 

Things Required to Get into a Proper Posture to Work at a Computer?

Choose the right ergonomic chair equipped with some crucial features like:

  • Proper seat height
  • Suitable Width and depth
  • Proper Lumbar Support
  • Perfect Backrest
  • Arm Rests
  • A convenient seat material
  • Swivel and Favorable options

You may also require a suitable computer desk that complements your sitting posture while working on it continuously for a long time. Well, the desk with the following features can complement your needs in the best way possible.

  1. Proper clearance for your legs is crucial depending upon the chosen chair.
  2. At least three and a half feet of space if you are sitting behind the desk.
  3. The height and width of the desk for perfect distance from the eyes.
  4. Proper leg rest.
  5. Good material with a convenient surface and mainly blunt edges.

On the other hand, Working in a dark place makes you reach for the mouse and search for the keys, thus stretching your back and resulting in cramps. It is a minor factor for a proper posture but has a greater impact when ensuring a good working desk to complement the rest of them.

Last but not least, wearing tight pants while working at a desk for a long time impacts the spine badly, resulting in severe damage to the lumbar spine. So, even an outfit matters a lot to ensure proper posture while working at a computer.

Now that you are all set with the proper requirements for getting an appropriate posture to work at a computer, let’s start with the pieces of information you must incorporate.

Make Proper use of Back Support

By now, you must be clear that an adjustable computer chair is what you should go for. Even a dedicated gaming chair would work due to the selective features that support the user.

Proper back support reduces the risk of lower back pain if you can ensure the needed support. The best way to support your lower back while working at a computer is to keep your back completely attached to the chair at a right angle to your thighs.

In this posture, the back support and the head support of the chair will back your body properly, making it look like your body is in the rest position.

Note: We suggest you look at “Best Office Chairs for Back Pain” if you’re suffering from back pain.

Learn: Best Way to Sit with Lower Back Pain

Adjust the Chair Height to Reach the Keyboard Naturally

Once you are in an ideal position on your chair, now you need to make a clear attempt to reach your computer desk, i.e., keyboard and mouse.

The best posture for typing is to ensure that your arms are near a perpendicular angle with your shoulders while the back is resting on the chair. This means your hands should be in an ideal position on the desk without needing to lean towards the front anymore.

Now, you can adjust your chair’s height until your arms are naturally resting on the desk, and you can reach every key without broad movements.

Place your Mouse at Reach

Most users on the computer neglect this, but reaching the mouse is the common reason for back, neck, and shoulder pains.

Making a sudden movement to reach the mouse and hovering it impacts your ideal position with proper back and headrest. The best way to ensure the proper mouse position is to check whether your naturally placed arms on the desk for typing can reach the mouse without much effort. This means you need to check if you reach the mouse in the same position where your upper body is at the right angle to your thighs and arms resting on the desk around 90 degrees.

Adjust the Monitor’s Height

If you want to reduce the risk of acute neck pain due to continuously bowing down to look at the monitor, focus on the monitor’s height.

Fix the height of your monitor in such a way that you don’t either need to lean or look upwards anymore. So, the display should be in a linear position to your head where the headrest of your chair is present.

Get to a Standard Distance from the Monitor

The strain on the eyes is also a common reason for the headache that often turns into eyesight. So, it is essential to place the monitor at a distance to see everything clearly without any inconvenience.

As a part of this, you can also change the brightness, saturation, and contrast level to the level you are good with.

Experts suggest that the ideal position of the monitor should be at least 20 inches from your eyes. If you find it difficult, the easy way to measure the distance is to keep the monitor at your arms’ length distance.

Well, you can add more viewing distance if your screen is larger.

Ideal Leg Placement

The posture of working at a computer is incomplete without proper leg placement, which according to a physiologist, can be the reason for back pain to some extent.

Yes, if your legs are not rested properly or are in a contrasting position to your upper body, chances of lower back pain and neck pain prevail. Here is how?

If you are sitting in an ideal/resting position on the chair with proper back and head support and your legs are bent inside the chair’s surface, it stretches the spinal nerve for a long time.

Similarly, if your legs are spread towards the front side searching for the leg rest, your upper spine and thus neck muscles are stretching. It may be a common thing for you in the short term, but such stretches may lead to some vicious injuries in the future.

Nevertheless, the best way to rest your legs is the perpendicular position from your thighs and parallel to your upper body.

If you don’t have a dedicated leg rest on your computer desk, you can place your legs on the floor. But, here, you should make sure your legs usually are resting without any pressure.

The height of your chair plays a major role in this phase.

If you have a leg rest, your ideal position should be the same perpendicular position, but this time below the desk and merely invisible to you.

Tips from Experts for Proper Sitting Posture 

  • Back Pain: The key to recovering from back pain while working on the computer is to maintain the normal spinal curve. One of the best ways to maintain the normal curve of your body is to sit at the end of your chair and slouch completely on it. It may work faster if you have a backrest attached to your chair to provide good comfort to your back.

The best way to do so is to relax your arms on the dedicated rests of the chair or desk and bring the desk as closely as possible. Make sure that your arm is perpendicular to your back and usually rests on the desk where the keyboard lies. 

In such situations, you should also make sure the mouse is within your reach where you don’t need to force your entire body to lean forward or aside. 

  • Headache: The topmost reason for headache is a poor posture which causes stress in your upper back. Experts and fitness enthusiasts suggest avoiding staying in one position for a longer period may it be sitting or standing. Now that you need to work on the computer, make sure your head doesn’t lean and stays straight facing directly towards the monitor. 

The best way to ensure this is to see whether your entire back, right from your head to waist, is flat to the chair at 90 degrees. 

  • Potbelly: Potbelly is more of a result of other factors than just sitting ideally on a chair. Now that you are sure you have to sit for 8 to 9 hours continuously, light food with less cholesterol will help you in this. You can add brisk walking and running to your routine to reduce the potbelly resulting from an ideal sitting position. 
  • Neck and Bodily Pains: The height of your chair or your desk plays a major role in reducing neck pains from working on the computer. You can adjust them in such a position that you are facing straight forward to the monitor without causing any tension on your upper back to reduce the neck pain.  Likewise, a stable sitting position with both your arms and legs in an ideal position reduces the chances of bodily pains to a great extent. 
  • Perfect Armrest and Keyboard Position: Resting your arms on the desk itself so that the keyboard is on your natural reach and the monitor at the height of your forehead is the best way to work on the computer.
  • Mouse position: The position of the mouse beside the keyboard should be at such a distance that you don’t need to stretch your arms to reach and hover it. 

Tips to Incorporate into Everyday Sitting for Better Health

  • Take a break from the work every 30-40 minutes.
  • Stand for a few minutes into your workflow after every 30 minutes.
  • Do some ergonomic exercises periodically for a couple of minutes.
  • Make sure to give some motion to all vital parts that were resting, such as legs, shoulders, and head.
  • Do cultivate a habit of looking at distant objects from time to time instead of looking at the monitor continuously.
  • Avoid your phone while working on your computer, as shifting from one screen to another stresses the eyes resulting in headaches and eyesight.

You can easily avoid all the negative impacts of a wrong posture when working at a computer by going through this guide. Make sure to follow all those expert tips and techniques to arrange your work desk, suiting your comfort to get the best outcomes.

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