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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: June 9th, 2023

Do you know that the proper desk posture can make you healthier and even more successful?

A good workplace posture yields a lot of physical and mental benefits.

The most obvious are fewer aches and pains. These usually plague the back, shoulders, and arms, but eventually, the hips and knees. Avoiding pains is the key to performing at your best in the office since it helps you maintain focus on the tasks at hand.

Of note, you feel less stress when sitting up straight. It has even been claimed that this position increases testosterone while reducing cortisol (stress hormones) in the body.

We all need to cope with our rampant stress, and all advice is welcome. In regard to posture, there is a scientific condition called “embodied cognition.” It has to do with physiological arousal, defined as a jump in pulse pressure and cardiac output. When this happens, a coping response to stress is activated.

What is to be avoided at all costs is slumping. It leads to lower levels of this desired form of arousal. You will be more susceptible to stress and feel helpless to cope.

The concept of embodied condition is useful in understanding the relationship between the body and the mind. We should know how our bodily experience impacts our cognitive and emotional states – and vice versa.

It has been theorized that muscles and hormones send signals to the brain from our body posture. We start to feel sad or stressed. Slumping is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Proper desk posture, on the other hand, does wonders for the diaphragm and lungs, helping them to expand. Slouching does the opposite. Better breathing means improved memory and increased oxygen to the brain. It has been conjected to reach 40%.

In studies, it has been shown that executives feel more positive and empowered when sitting with a straight back. In fact, they feel more inclined to tackle tough issues at work. A negative mood can also be wiped away with good posture, believe it or not.

Depression avoidance is another major benefit, according to Science. Proper desk posture even aids digestion because of the improved position of the core muscles and organs. We all know that good digestion means more energy in the afternoon to cope with your tasks in the office.

Did you know that good posture is also a confident posture? Slouching is a “doubtful” posture. This means you are leaning forward with your heading drooping down.


But What Happens If You Do Not Sit Properly?

If you are like the majority of us, you sit at a computer at home or work for hours on end, up to eight or nine per day. The negative effects of the poor sitting posture can be pertinent.  They include anything from rounded shoulders, a potbelly and headaches to back, neck and body pains and muscle fatigue.

But the list continues. Poor posture can even lead to the chronic, long-term damage to nerves as well as to the carpal tunnel, high blood pressure, muscle swelling, and even a loss of muscle strength.  

No one wants such ailments and, in fact, they can aggravate other conditions. The worst-case scenario is damage to the spinal cord. There are even possibilities of cardiovascular harm. Who knew that sitting improperly could wreak such havoc? It has not previously been associated with long-lasting and negative effects.

If we knew that poor desk posture was so destructive, we would rethink what we do. Yes, we all value business productivity and will do what is required to ensure it. Good health is also a bonus.

Good desk posture needs to get our attention fast or suffer the consequences. If you are even a little uncomfortable, it is a clear sign of the need for a change. A proper desk posture is mandatory for everyone, but especially for those with any degree of back pain.

It is important to learn how to sit properly with illustrations. You can then adjust your chair optimally, so you are in the right position facing your screen with your hands on your keyboard and mouse.

All of a sudden, sitting has become complicated. Now you need some guidance.


General Tips to Maintain a Proper Sitting Posture:

In fact, a consensus exists among the experts on how to sit properly on a chair or on a stool. The tips below apply also to the office environment and can help you to maintain the proper desk posture.


Your Posture on the Chair:

– Start with back straight and avoid any hunching. Pull your shoulders back and keep the buttocks toward the end of the chair.

– The back should rest against the back of your chair as much as possible. A lumbar pillow can help.

– Set your chair at a 100-110 degrees recline to reduce spinal pressure. A 90-degree position is not necessarily the best. Experts prefer you to take a reclining position to reduce any residual tension.

– Try to establish a 2-3 inch small gap between the bottom of your thighs and the seat edge of the seat to reduce any pressure on the underside of the thighs.


Your Head and Your Shoulders:

– An upright angleis mandatory for the head, your ears being aligned with your shoulders. Tilt your head forward a bit (just 15 degrees). This is called “text neck.” It works to double the pressure on the neck since the weight of the head has doubled.

– Relax and untense the shoulders. This can be very tiring on the muscles.


Your Hips, Knees and Feet:

– Above all, do not lean. Just keeps your hips even. It will help distribute your body weight.

– The knees should always be at a 90-degree angle. Keep them even with the hips – or slightly lower.

– Put your feet flat on the floor. If you must, set them on a footrest.

– It’s a habit, but don’t cross your legs; it restricts blood flow.

Particular Tips for the Proper Desk Posture at Your Computer

Sitting before a computer at home or work mandates some tactics. One is to keep an optimal distance between the screen and your eyes. Then there is the matter of arm and wrist position.

Neck and Monitor Positions:

– Set the position of the computer monitor, so the text at the top is eye level.

– Keep the neck in a neutral position. It is best to have the screen directly in front of you to prevent too much turning of the neck.

– An arm’s length distance is ideal, at least 20 to 30 inches.

– It is highly recommended to use a headset or your speakerphone for calls. NEVER hold the phone between your ears and shoulders. It will surely lead to uncomfortable muscle strain.


A Proper Desk Posture Means the Right Keyboard and Arm Positions:

Keep also in mind some essential guidelines for the proper typing position. The way you place your keyboard and mouse will impacte positively or negatively your desk posture:

– Armrest height is crucial. The recommendation is keeping the elbows at a 100-110 degree open-angle.

– A slight negative tilt of the keyboard is best when sitting upright.

– The hands need to be slightly lower than the elbows when typing. Maintain the fingers pointing downward.

– Avoid twisting the wrists in any direction: up and down or side to side.

– Use a keyboard tray to get the desired keyboard and mouse angles. Extra tip is to buy a large tray which will accommodate both.

– Some keyboards have convenient palm rests. But you don’t always need it. Why rest your wrists when typing anyway? Your wrists will turn unnecessarily, leading to strain.

– The keyboard has been designed with shortcuts, so use them to minimize strain. Plus, the mouse is there for a reason!


Special Posture Tip

Probably the most noteworthy tip is to avoid sitting for long periods, anywhere. It is a known health hazard, according to experts. Exercise can help but is not a panacea. Your best at this point is a posture corrector, an excellent device for those who remain confined to their desks for hours on end. It will be the death of slumped and rounded shoulders.

Therefore, establish a rule: no sitting more than 30 minutes at a time.

Read: Do Posture Correctors Work for Sedentary People? Scientific and Medical Reasons Why You Need a Posture Brace

Read also: How to Fix Rounded Shoulders. The Ultimate Guide for Desk Potatoes.


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