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Quick Tips for Good Desk Ergonomics

Colin Bell - Monday, May 07, 2018

As a video editor for Training Snippets I need to sit at a desk for most of the day, which can cause a sore back, neck and shoulders. It can be easy to get lost in your work, especially when there's a deadline, but taking regular stand-up breaks and sitting correctly can help to minimise the effects.

Here are a few simple steps that I use for better sitting posture:

Firstly, you will need a chair with an adjustable back and seat. This will ensure that you can sit at the right height for your desk. If your chair has arms, they also need to rise and lower but if you don't have them that's OK.


Sit so that your thighs are in line or lower than your hip and your feet are flat on the ground. Don’t bend them under the chair and try not to cross them if you can help it.


Sit as close to the desk as possible with your forearms parallel with your desk and your elbows by your side. Your mouse and keyboard should be front and centre so you don't hunch to reach them. This should help to keep your shoulders relaxed and prevent your wrist from resting on the desk.


For the back tilt, you should to be sitting a little back from 90 degrees – more like 100-110 depending on what's comfortable for you. The shoulders should be aligned and supported by the back of the chair.


Keep your lower back in contact with the back support of your chair to maintain a straight back. I know I'm guilty of slouching, but remembering that your hips need to go back as far as they can helps to solve this. I adjust throughout the day, which keeps me moving and sitting upright.


Now that your chair is in the right position, your screen should also be adjusted so that the top is at eye-level and directly in front of you. No more bending the neck to look at the screen, especially on those laptops. Raise them up on a stand or some books, and if neccessary invest in an external keyboard and mouse. I find that tilting the screen up a little helps here too.

Your healthy lifestyle shouldn't end when you get to work, so instead of taking lunch at your desk go for a walk to get away from your screens. As well as maintaining correct posture at your desks, make sure to get up every 30-90 mins and move, do some stretches and ignore those funny looks from your colleagues!

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