Prolonged sitting, especially in front of a computer screen puts strain on the joints of the spine and can be a major cause of neck and back pain. In today’s era, people from childhood spend “many hours” in front of a screen. This habit has created a surge of painful spinal syndromes, which quite often begin in the adolescence. It must be noted that the slouched sitting posture is the main predisposing factor not only for the painful spine, but also for the musculoskeletal syndromes of the upper and lower extremities (e.g. subacromial impingement syndrome, tennis elbow, patellofemoral pain etc.)
The “correct sitting posture” is based on neutral joint positioning and avoiding loose, curved postures of the spine. This type of alignment places a symmetrical load on the intervertebral discs and the ligaments and protects them from unwanted strain.
To find the correct sitting posture, you can follow the steps below:
- Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair.
- The chair should have a “back” that supports the natural lordosis of the low back. If necessary, place a cylindrical pillow that supports the waist.
- The back of the chair should be slightly reclined
- Maintain an upright posture
- The seat should fully support your thighs
- The knees are at the same or at a slightly lower height than your hips
- The feet should be flat on the floor
- Approach the desk and keyboard. Adopt the habit of working close to the desk and not far from it
- Adjust the height of the armrests, so that your shoulders are relaxed and the forearms parallel to the floor
- If the seat does not have armrests, be sure to place the forearms on the desk and keep elbows close to the side
- Keep your forearms and wrists straight
- Adjust the monitor height so that the neck is in a neutral position and the chin “tucked in”
- Place the screen in the center of your body above the keyboard
- The top of the screen should be at eye level
- The distance of the eyes from the computer screen should be about half a meter
- Take frequent breaks (every half hour for one minute) to stretch the muscles in the neck, the shoulder girdle and the wrists. This will release the tension and improve blood circulation.
- • Every hour get up from the desk and walk for a while in your office space.
Here are some simple movements that help to relieve the joints and muscles.