Posture at the Computer

How do you sit at work? Do you heed conventional wisdom and “sit up straight,” or are you right now leaning toward the screen as you read, with back rounded and the head casting disproportionate pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles, asking them to compensate? Even if you immediately straightened up upon seeing the word posture, chances are you will be slouched down or slumped forward five minutes after you have finished reading. This plays on the tendency of humans toward laziness: sitting is the most conducive position to poor posture. 

  • Head facing straight forward, centered over the spine. If needs be, adjust the height of your monitor to encourage this position.
  • Back straight with buttocks touch the back of the chair and your shoulders back in a relaxed position. 
  • If possible, place a pillow in the back of the chair to encourage the lordotic curve. 
  • Weight of torso distributed evenly between the hips (not leaning to one side).
  • Legs at 90 degrees or slightly higher. 
  • Feet rested flat on the floor without too much pressure being pressed through them. 

As you work in front of the computer for hours at a time, you are encouraging muscular imbalance and poor curvature. This can leave you with muscle strain, headaches and back pain. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I believe a reminder of good posture is always in order. Try to remind yourself of this position as often as possible, especially when you catch yourself slumping. 

For help on posturing throughout the day, call our office in Park Slope at (718) 398-3100

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C. 

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