Computer Posture: It's Not About Sitting Up Straight!

Your 'computer posture' can have a huge impact on your health. If it's poor, and you slouch for 7 hours a day in front of your PC, your body will suffer in the long-term.

I've seen too many people in my practice during the last fifteen years with problems that began while sitting at their desk.

But did you know, sitting up straight can be even worse for your back?

This may come as a surprise.

Since your first day at school, you've most likely been told to sit up straight. Yet a good sitting posture is somewhere between a slouch and a straight back - more on this in a moment.

When you try to sit properly, do you find -

1) It's uncomfortable after only a few minutes?

2) You soon find you're back to your usual slump?


3) You just forget to correct yourself?

Even if you've tried to follow the advice given by ergonomics experts about correct position of your chair, computer screen and mouse, you may still suffer from the conditions mentioned above.

You're not alone, and for good reason. Most of us make some basic errors when trying to adjust our body to what we think is the right sitting posture.

Check out my short computer posture video to see how you can take the stress off your neck, back and shoulders - and then come back here for more help and advice.

It's Not About Sitting Up Straight!

As mentioned earlier, you know you shouldn't slump, but if sitting up straight isn't good for your back either - what should you do? Most people I see in my practice who try to 'sit properly' usually do so with a tight lower back - just like the girl in the video above (did you watch it?)

Why? Because we've forgotten how to sit properly through years of doing it badly.

You can't correct it by trying harder, in fact, you need to stop sitting badly and just let your body find its natural posture.

Check out my tip on what I believe is the single, most effective way to relieve the stresses and strains we place on our body - see Getting A Head Start!

correct sitting posture

Check your sitting posture here.

Computer Posture: Dos and Don'ts

Sometimes the smallest adjustment to your desk environment can make a huge difference to your computer posture and consequently your level of comfort.

Not only does finding the best sitting position relieve your aches and pains, it makes you more productive.

It's not easy to concentrate when you are aching and have to keep moving around to find a comfortable position. Many companies invest considerable sums of money in expensive chairs but even if you have the latest and most expensive model available it won't ensure that you will sit correctly.

So what can you do to ensure the best sitting position?


check the position of your screen
have your chair at the right height so your eyes are level with your screen and your knees are slightly
lower than your hip joints
let your wrists rest on the desk
have you computer in front of you
let your feet sit flat on the floor and not tucked under your chair
keep your shoulders and back relaxed
take regular breaks away from your PC


try to sit up straight (more below)
fix your eyes on the screen
lift your shoulders when typing or clicking the mouse
have any equipment where you need to twist
constantly to access it
collapse your neck as you read the screen
use your PC in low light conditions

GOOD computer posture
NOT SO GOOD poor computer posture

Compare the two photographs above. Even slight adjustments in body position will make a difference to how much stress is put upon the body. In the GOOD computer posture you will see the head is sitting directly on top of the spine and its weight (approx 4.5kgs/10lbs) is passed down to the pelvis and into the chair.

In the NOT SO GOOD computer posture, the neck has dropped forward and the weight of the head is no longer completely supported by the chair.

Because the spine is curved forward the muscles in the middle of the back are required to do more (inappropriate) work to keep the head up.

Also to look at the screen she has to pull her head slightly backwards, this over time will cause the spine to curve more.

Early warning signs that should not be ignored.

Any discomfort experienced at your computer is a sign you are doing something wrong. You may not be too concerned if the aches and pains you associate with sitting at your computer disappear at weekends.

But prolonged periods (and we could be talking years) of sitting in a poor position will alter your posture gradually until you begin to suffer all of the time, and not while you're just sitting at your desk.

More serious signs that require you to take instant action are tightness or numbness in your fingers, hands, wrists, elbows or shoulders.

This could soon lead to upper limb disorders, also known as repetitive strain injury (RSI).

This is a difficult condition to treat successfully and in a many cases the sufferer has to change job completely to one not involving computers - not an easy career move to make in today's hi-tech world!

If you experience any of the above symptoms, talk to your Occupational Health Advisor or visit your doctor. The longer these conditions persist the harder it will be to treat.

So your computer posture can have a huge influence on not only how productive you are at work, whether you get aches or pains, but also your body shape! You probably don't want to look old before your time, but if you pay little attention to how you sit at your PC you could be rapidly attaining the stoop normally associated with old age.

Remember, you don't have to sit up straight with your chin in, shoulders back ...and all the garbage, you just have to allow your body to be poised.

Improving Your Desk Posture

** Now available in eBook format for your PC **

Because the majority of us spend so long sitting at a desk it's within our interest to focus on our sitting posture. Whilst ergonomic chairs can help, we still have to take responsibility for ourselves and not just put our faith in the furniture. Here are two useful approaches you can use.

Computer posture Are you sitting comfortably?
Taking the stress out of sitting at your PC

'Perfect Computer Posture' is available in ebook or Kindle format (see below) to download to your PC for just $4.99. This very useful guide has a few unconventional ways to improve your computer posture. You probably spend many hours a day at your PC so find out how you can make it easier on your body.

For more information please click here

My guide to a perfect computer posture is now available on Amazon for the Kindle (now includes links to videos). If you don't have a Kindle, you can download Amazon's free PC software and apply my techniques whils sitting at your desk. My easy-to-follow techniques will help you sit with less stress on your neck, shoulders and back.

For more information please use the links below:- Kindle Store Kindle Store

Available as an instant download with video links!

Content by Roy Palmer - Google+

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