I am a voice over artist and if you’re like me and work from home (right now who isn’t?) you probably have a desk that you work at. I’m often at my desk recording and editing and again, if you’re anything like me, at the end of the day you have a sore neck and tight shoulders from hunching over your desk to look at your computer screen all day! Check out these ‘3 tips for good posture at work’ to avoid the pain and stay healthy!
I’ve asked my husband ‘Physio Joe’ to help me out and give me some tips to share. I hope these tips will help you to learn how to have great posture at work so you don’t need a deep tissue massage at the end of every day – even though that would be heavenly.
Take a photo first.
Before we dive into the first tip, have someone photograph you working at your desk with your hands on your keyboard as if you are in the process of working. Take this photo from the side so you can identify where you can improve. I’m including myself in the experiment so we can see a before and after shot!
#1 Maintaining good posture at work is all about 90 degree angles
Correct posture starts from the bottom up. Take a look at your feet and make sure they are planted on the ground with your ankles bent at 90 degrees. Once you have your feet in position, then adjust the height of your chair until your knees are also bent at 90 degrees.
Follow through with this idea at your hips as well. Ensure they are bent at 90 degrees. By setting yourself up to work in this position, your back will be able to stay in a straight position.
Lastly, ensure that your ears are inline with your shoulder.
Think: straight back, shoulders back, ears in line with your shoulders, and chin tucked down like there is a string coming out the crown of your head. I pull a strand of hair up from the crown of my head so I know when I’m in the right head position.
If you need a new office chair, look for one that is height-adjustable, as adjustable arm rests, and can tilt forward if needed.
#2 Adjusting the height of your computer will set you up for posture success.
The height of your computer screen helps a lot with improving your posture at work.
Now that you have your chair adjusted so you are sitting with upright posture, you should adjust the height of your computer screen so that your eyes line up with the upper 3rd of the monitor.
An adjustable computer stand can help you achieve the correct monitor height. If you are using a laptop, make sure you invest in a wireless keyboard and mouse so you can maintain proper alignment.
If your screen is too low, you will round your upper back and ‘turtle your neck’ into a forward head posture. This does not bode well for you in the long term.
If your computer is too high, you will spend all day looking up. This just results in a lot of strain on your upper neck. Like if you ever sat in the front row at the movie theatre… aw, remember the days where we got to go to the movie theatres?
#3 Positioning your keyboard and mouse for Correct posture.
Last but not least is where your arms and hands should be. We don’t want carpal tunnel syndrome do we? NO, we do not.
After you follow the first two tips, you want to position yourself with your arms at your sides, then bend your elbows to (you guessed it) 90 degrees, with your palms turned down. If you have arm rests on your chair you should adjust them so they lightly support your elbow in this position. Your wrists should be in a straight neutral position.
Once you are in that position you should maneuver your keyboard and your mouse so that they are in-line with your hands. This may require installing an adjustable keyboard tray.
This positioning is important because if your mouse or keyboard is too far forward you will end up rounding your shoulders forward to reach them. This will mean pain in your upper back, neck and shoulders.
Now have someone take a photo of you again from the side with these corrections made. This is how you should always sit, and where your chair, computer, keyboard, and mouse should always be positioned. You can place markers to show where these things should always be positioned so you don’t move your chair/keyboard back to a position where you will be slouching again.
It might take some trial and error but just remember to think about 90-degree angles, ensure your screen is at the right height, and your keyboard and mouse are right where you need them to be. Happy working! Remember to leave a comment with your thoughts and connect with me on social media @katelyndawnvo
*Links are affiliate links. I use the computer stand and it’s great, I’m also purchasing the keyboard tray. Do your own research but if you like the ones I chose that’s great!