Every day you spend at least eight hours working at the computer. Sitting is not beneficial for your spine and strains the skeletal system. How to take care of your spine at work? What to do and what to avoid so that back pain does not make your life a misery? Find out in our guide.
– Long hours spent sitting in front of a computer screen may cause cervical, thoracic and lumbar pain. No wonder if the muscles are tense all the time for several hours. An unnatural position may quickly make your life a misery, so at Solutions.Rent we focus on ensuring ergonomic workplaces and occupational health – says Rafał Wilk, COO Solutions.Rent.
Select a desk
Choose a wide desk that is deep enough for you to put all workplace equipment at the right distance. The height of the desk, chair and armrests should allow for a natural hand position at the keyboard, while maintaining a right angle between your arm and forearm. The desktop should be 2–3 cm below your elbows. Your wrists should rest on the table when typing.
Position your chair
The chair seat should be approximately 40–50 cm above the floor. The seat plate should be profiled for the thighs and the backrest should support the natural spinal curve. While sitting at a computer you should keep your back straight and rest it slightly against the backrest.
Set your chair so that your stomach is approximately 10 cm from the edge of the desk and your feet rest fully on the floor. Do not cross one leg over the other. Your calves should form a right angle with your thighs.
Pay attention to the monitor
The monitor should be positioned 40–75 cm from your eyes (at arm’s length). This way the monitor viewing angle is around 20–50 degrees below your line of sight. Such a setting is optimal to avoid straining the neck. The screen should be tilted back by 5–10 degrees and perpendicular to your face.
While working at a computer you should keep your head straight or slightly leaned forward (approx. 5 degrees). The monitor should be positioned at a height that does not force you to unnaturally tilt your head forward or backwards.
While working, take brakes of several minutes. Straighten your legs, go to the kitchen and make yourself some coffee or tea. Even such a short walk through the corridor will relieve the strain on your back. A short break has also other advantages: your brain gets more oxygen, you get stimulated to work and your concentration improves. Switching to a standing position also improves blood circulation in your legs and allows your eyes to rest. Do not give up on regular breaks.
Read also: 7 best ways to relax after work
Try to be active. If only you have the time and energy after work – go to a swimming pool. A walk is also a good idea. Regular exercise at least 2-3 times a week is the best back pain prevention. Choose a sport you like. You do not have to start going to the gym – dancing, yoga or fitness will do.
Some simple exercises you can do at work include:
- bending your head towards your right and left shoulder,
- bending your head towards your chest and tilting it back,
- turning your head to the right and to the left,
- doing arm circles,
- moving your shoulders up and down,
- doing wrist circles,
- clenching your fists,
- doing side stretches.
Focus to perform the exercises slowly and precisely. Perform them in series of several repetitions. Try to increase the movement range with each repetition.
Looking for a coworking that supports ergonomics and occupational health? Click here and check out Solutions.Rent offices