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Proper Posture for Computer Use

Updated on March 08, 2011

For those of us whose job requires a large amount of computer work, effective ergonomics can be the key to keep our bodies healthy and pain-free. While posture plays a large role in how the body feels after a long day at the office, placing equipment and seating at the proper angles can help us naturally align in a more efficient and beneficial way for maximum comfort and stamina at the workplace.

Posture & Positioning

  1. The first step to better posture at a desk is to adjust your chair to the right height for computer work. (If you work at a standing workstation, skip directly to the next step.) Your feet should be flat on the floor, your thighs parallel to the ground, knees forming a 90 degree angle.
  2. Next, arrange your computer. Your eyes should be level with the top of your monitor. Tilt the monitor at an angle of approximately 15 degrees for an optimal neck position that will not strain your spine. For the sake of your eyes, be sure that you are sitting far enough from the screen so that there is at least 20 inches of space between your face and the monitor.
  3. Pull the keyboard tray out towards you, level with the height of your elbows when your arms hang loose at your side. In order to protect your elbows and shoulders, make certain never to reach forward to type. Maintain a right angle in the elbow joint. (If your desk does not have a separate keyboard tray, raise your chair and place feet flat on a small footrest or stool to maintain the joint angles described in Step 1.)

For Your Back...

  • If you are prone to lower back pain, you may find that a firm cushion placed in the small of the back gives you the support you need.
  • Try placing a wedge-shaped block under your feet to tilt your toes slightly upwards.

For Your Wrists...

  • When using the mouse, move from the shoulder rather than the wrist.
  • Avoid wrist pads that create a bend in the wrist.
  • Keep wrists flat, forearms stiff and parallel to the floor.
  • Use reinforced wrist braces if you have need.

Use of Movement

Remember to take breaks to get moving. Instead of going straight from sitting at your desk to sitting in the break room, or in an armchair when you get home, take time to stretch your limbs, rotating each joint slowly, several times in both directions. Do not ignore your sore spots, but rather, pay special attention to them. Over all, be gracious to your body. Preventing an injury is far easier than healing after one.

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    • profile image

      TANE JY 2 years ago

      WTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

    • profile image

      jack 3 years ago

      this website helps a bit

    • ketage profile image

      ketage 3 years ago from Croatia

      Great Hub , I sit in front of the computer for hours at a time and often find I get a stiff back the next morning, I will try some of the tips here and see if that helps my aching back :)

    • profile image

      charlielawton 4 years ago

      this advice is really good i will keep it in mind before i used to slouch and get in all sorts of pain

    • profile image

      4 years ago

      hbkhbkh

    • Chandryclaire profile image

      Chandryclaire 4 years ago

      Very useful tips I will utilize before I experience any symptoms of back pain. Thank You for the awesome article.

    • profile image

      Adwoa 5 years ago

      very good information

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      This is great information - I have a tendency to slouch and tuck my legs under, and get into all kinds of awkward positions that make it painful when I get up.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      This is terrific, uncomplicated information Maddie and the picture so clearly illustrates proper computer posture! May I credit you and add a link from my upcoming Hub on muscle memory? Much appreciated and Rated up.

    • profile image

      jaden marsh 5 years ago

      mum this is so cool thanks alotthank u all of u members and guests

    • profile image

      bazga 5 years ago

      thiss reely helped with my gcse ict cors work

      ao 1 posture lolz thnxxxxxxx

    • profile image

      Duane 5 years ago

      One important consideration not covered is the role of eyeglasses. Many people over age 45 need a lens that provides the user a clear focus at a viewing distance between 20 and 26 inches. Your advice works well when the lenses are single focus. However, multifocal lenses (bifocal, trifocal and progressive focus) may cause people to lift their chin up, which strains the neck muscles, in order to position their eyes to use the lower part of their lenses. The optical industry has "dedicated" lens designs that help this dilemma.

    • profile image

      charisse delos ama 5 years ago

      very effective and helpful

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Maudie - I am writing a hub on posture and would like to link to your excellent hub for the posture for computer section. I am finishing it tonight. Thanks so much. :)vocalcoach ps Used to live in Walnut Creek and my son, in Oakland. Great weather and love Jack London Square.

    • profile image

      jaoying 6 years ago

      Amazing hub thank for share

      :-)

    • profile image

      sarah 6 years ago

      I THINK THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!

    • profile image

      Yo Momma is a Beast.  6 years ago

      Very useful information. I know for a fact that everybody has bad posture when it comes to keyboards! I'll be working on my posture!

      I love cheese.

      Guda to be exact. KIDDING.

      Easy cheese is boss.

    • profile image

      sheena marie  6 years ago

      thanks for the information!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Kevin W. 6 years ago

      Great my computer is at the perfect height. I noticed putting a pillow where my lower back is helps a lot for me.

    • profile image

      daniel divson 6 years ago

      this is really help full

    • profile image

      tweener 6 years ago

      i learned this for the sake of the exam

    • gajanis786 profile image

      gajanis786 6 years ago

      very good article.....keep it up.

    • profile image

      Norm 6 years ago

      The information is much appreciated, after having sciatica for several years. Good posture both in the workplace and at rest is so vital to keeping the back in check is so important for me now.

    • profile image

      Barnali 6 years ago

      Very useful topic.

    • profile image

      brad wilson 7 years ago

      lol my mom Has always told me to look this kinda stuff up. thanks a lot :)

    • ciidoctor profile image

      ciidoctor 7 years ago

      wow thank you

    • papachino profile image

      papachino 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks for the great information. Very good hub!

    • profile image

      Rob 7 years ago

      Good article about an important topic. Who doesn't use a computer these days!

    • Bruce Elkin profile image

      Bruce Elkin 8 years ago from Victoria, BC Canada

      Very helpful. It's changed the way I sit, and the way I position my Aeron chair. Most comfortable now! Thank you!

    • raintree profile image

      raintree 9 years ago

      Great tips Maddie, I use a cushion for my back and the foot rest and find them very helpful.

    • profile image

      Small Business 9 years ago

      This is a very informative post with some really good tips on proper posture.

      Thanks

    • ychange profile image

      ychange 9 years ago

      This is very useful information. Most of us develop serious back problems because of the way we sit in front of our computers. Thanks.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      I've actually been having a sore back since switching jobs, so I've been thinking about getting one of those support pillows. Thanks for the info.

    • Veronica profile image

      Veronica 9 years ago from NY

      There are even companies that have ergodynamic departments, that will come to your cube and measure and observe you work, etc, and order you the proper foot lift, arm and wrist rests, keyboard, monitor lift, and chair to best help you maintain proper posture. I'm sure they are trying to eliminate carpal tunnel and lawsuits, and other things that stem from an unhealthy work space. Great article!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 9 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Yo mean sitting hunched over the laptop on the bed won't work?

      :)

      Great hub..thanks.

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