This is a guest post by: Richard McMunn who is the director and founder of How2Become the UK’s leading career and recruitment specialist. For the last 7 years How2Become has helped applicants prepare for and pass recruitment processes and assessment centers in order to secure their dream job. You can also find How2Become on Google Plus.
Sitting at a desk for long periods of time can result in back pain, and it can complicate existing neck or back problems you might already have. Unfortunately, sitting is a stationary posture position, which by its very nature increases strain on the back, neck, shoulders, arms, and even the legs.
Being seated at a desk for an inordinate amount of time with poor posture places a great amount of pressure on back muscles and the spine’s discs. This is because when seated at a desk it is natural to slouch in the chair. Yet, by following a few simple tips ensures your desk-work is more enjoyable and pain free.
The first tip is to make use of proper elbow placement when sitting at the desk. This is easily accomplished by sitting as close as possible to the desk, and being sure the upper arms are analogous with your spine. Then, place your hands on the desk’s surface or computer keyboard. At this point your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle. If they are not, simply adjust your office chair up or down until they are.
Tip two has you slipping your fingers under your thigh from the leading edge of the chair. If the fit is tight you need to raise your feet up with an adjustable foot rest. If you are an exceptionally tall person and the width between the chair and your finger is more than one finger-width, then you need to raise the desk upward, and then raise the chair accordingly.
The third tip is to ensure the office chair you are using is not too deep. Sit in the chair and press against its back. Next, clench your fist and try to touch the back of your calf without moving your back. If you cannot do this movement or if it is too difficult then the chair is too deep. You need to adjust the back rest forward, and insert a lower lumbar support or pillow. If this does not solve the problem you should invest in a new office chair.
The fourth tip is when sitting at your desk, maintaining proper eye level with your computer monitor is essential. This helps you avoid straining your back, neck, shoulders, and arms. In addition, proper eye level reduces unnecessary eye strain. To accomplish this sit in your office chair and stare straight ahead. You should be looking directly at the center of your monitor. If you are not looking at the center of the screen adjust the monitor until you have the correct measurement.
The final fifth tip to avoiding desk work back pain is to ensure your chair’s armrests are properly adjusted. Proper adjustment of the armrests is critical to circumvent back, neck, and shoulder strain. Make sure the armrests slightly lift your arms at the shoulders. This adjustment makes it more difficult for you to slouch, which is a main cause of back, neck, and shoulder injuries.
Finally, following the listed tips, getting up from your desk once per hour and stretching will keep you energized, and you will be less susceptible to back injury. An occasional 20 minute walk is also encouraged to increase blood flow to otherwise stationary muscles. Take these steps to heart and you will feel better and be more productive.