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Best Posture for Sitting at a Desk All Day

09 February 2024

Having a job where you've got to sit at your desk all day long may sound like an ideal job. Most people assume that a job that requires you to sit at a desk is comfortable and fun because you don't have to do anything that may tire you out. But would you believe it if we told you that sitting is the new smoking?

Well, that's how dangerous sitting for too long in a bad posture is for your health!

If you're sitting at your work desk right now, observe your posture? Are you sitting hunched forward, with your shoulders slumped and back curved? If the answer is yes, know that you're sitting in the wrong posture and if you don't correct it, you might soon develop serious health conditions, and if you still don't take correcting your posture seriously, you may end up with lifelong physical disabilities. No exaggeration here!

If your job is such that you've got to sit at a desk all day long, you should immediately start working towards correcting your posture. You may already be suffering from back, shoulder, and neck pain. If yes, know that the consequences of sitting in the wrong posture are already in play!



What Can Sitting in the Wrong Posture Do?

Not many people pay much heed to their posture. They're so engrossed in their work that they don't really focus on how they're sitting, which is why posture-related health problems have become so common today.

You can only imagine what sitting in the wrong posture for prolonged hours to do your health. Continue reading to know.

Back Pain

Back pain is the most common complaint among people who spend most of their day sitting at their desks. When you sit in a slouched posture for long durations, there's excessive pressure in the area between your shoulder blades, and as a result, you flatten the muscles of your bag to relieve the discomfort you feel. Since you're constantly sitting in a tense state, you'll end up with back pain at the end of the day. And if you don't take it seriously, the back pain will only worsen so much that you won't be able to sit at all.

Effects Spine Curvature

Your spine looks like an 'S' if it's aligned properly, and that's how it should be. However, if you continue to sit in the wrong posture for long hours, your spine's curvature will be affected. Its natural 'S' shape will get changed, and as a result, the pressure on the spine will increase. The spine absorbs shock, but when its natural curvature is altered, its ability to absorb shock deteriorates, and you're at a higher risk of injury.

Neck and Shoulder Pain

Another common side effect of sitting at your desk in an incorrect posture is neck pain. Sitting in the wrong posture puts pressure on your muscles. The muscles of your shoulders and neck stay tensed all day long, and as a result, you experience pain in the neck and shoulders. The pain can even make falling asleep difficult.

Decreased Efficiency and Productivity

You're bound to feel discomfort when you're sitting at your desk in the wrong posture. Your back, shoulders, and neck will hurt. Your focus will shift to your discomfort, and that'll hit your productivity and efficiency directly.

Poor Digestion

Did you know the digestion-related problems that you've been facing lately could be due to sitting at your desk in the wrong posture? Sitting in an incorrect posture compresses your organs, and this can result in slowed digestion and stomach-related problems.



What's the Best Posture for Sitting at Your Work Desk?

Considering the numerous health consequences of sitting in the wrong posture, it's wise to wonder what the best posture is for sitting at your work desk.

Achieving the correct posture isn't too difficult but retaining it throughout the day is. The correct posture will be uncomfortable in the beginning because your body is used to sitting the wrong way. It'll take a few days for your body to adjust to the new posture. Initially, sitting in the correct posture will require a conscious effort, but after a few days, it'll come to you naturally.

Let's look at the best posture for sitting at your work desk.

Your feet should be placed flat on the floor or on a footrest.

You shouldn't sit with your knees, legs, or ankles crossed as it can disrupt the blood flow.

Sit on the chair such that there's a small gap between the edge of the chair and the back of your knees.

Adjust the height of the seat such that the height of your knees is almost the same as your hips.

Place your ankles in front of the knees.

Keep your shoulders relaxed.

Sit with your elbows resting on the armrests. Don't slump.

Sit such that your forearms and knees are parallel to the floor.

Don't slump to any one side. Sit straight up so that your body weight is equally distributed.

Adjust the height of the monitor so that the top of the screen is just at your eye level

Your computer monitor should be about a distance of an arm's length from your body.

Sit with your back resting on the backrest to ensure the back is fully supported.

Take a walking break every hour. Don't sit all day long.

Place your keyboards a few inches (about 4 to 6 inches) from the edge of the desk so that you've got enough space to rest your wrists. Using an ergonomic keyboard and mouse is the best option.

The desk's height should be such that your forearms are at a 90-degrees angle to the upper arms when you're using the keyboard. The keyboard shouldn't be placed too low or too high as it can cause shoulder and elbow pain.

Make sure all the items you need to use frequently are placed within your reach so that you don't have to stretch or turn in an awkward position to get them.

Place a document stand on your work desk so you don't have to bend or look down in your drawers to look for them. It can strain your neck.



Tips to Achieve the Best Sitting Posture at Work

Now that you know what an ideal sitting posture is, we can move on to the tips that will help you achieve the correct posture and reduce the risk of posture-related health complications.

Provide Your Back Sufficient Support

Back pain, as we said earlier, is the most common complaint that people who sit at their desks all day long have. You know now that it's because of sitting in an incorrect posture. One way to prevent excessive pressure on your back and ensure that you're sitting in the correct posture is by providing your back with sufficient support. For this purpose, you can use a back support cushion or an ergonomic chair with mesh back support.

Use an Ergonomic Chair

Most people sit in a poor posture at work because their chair and desk height aren't right for them. One way to address this problem is to use an ergonomic chair whose height can be adjusted per your preferences. An ergonomic chair also has flexible back support and elbow support to ensure that your back is fully supported and your elbows are placed at the correct angle.

Replace Your Work Desk

Fixed Height Table is suitable for people who've to spend only a short time sitting at work. However, an ergonomic work desk is the best option for those who've got to sit at their desk throughout their work shift. Ergonomic desks come with special features that help in sitting in the correct posture. The height of these desks can be adjusted according to the user's preferences.

Adjust the Monitor Height

Either adjust the height of your desk or use a monitor stand to adjust the monitor's height, so it's at eye level. If the monitor is too high, you'll have to sit with your back stretched and neck tilted backward, and if it's too low, you'll sit with your shoulders slumped and your neck bending forward. These postures are incorrect and will lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain.

Use an Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse

People who've got to type extensively at work are at a higher risk of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). They also complain about neck and shoulder pain. Using an ergonomic keyboard and mouse can change things for you. An ergonomic keyboard and mouse are specially designed to help you sit and work in the best posture.

The keys on this keyboard are arranged to promote the natural placement of hands. You don't have to bend your wrists at awkward angles. Ergonomic mice come with softer, more sensitive buttons, which means using an ergonomic mouse will put less strain on your fingers and wrists.

Bottom Line

The best posture for sitting at a desk all day long is the one that ensures your comfort and physical wellbeing. Getting used to the correct posture will take time, but once you get there, you are out of the risk spectrum of numerous posture-related health complications.