How to sit correctly at a computer

It’s important to sit at your computer desk correctly. Sitting in the wrong position can cause aches, numbness and strain amongst other issues.

Below is a checklist for you to follow to ensure you’re sitting at your workstation comfortably and correctly.

1. Computer screen

How to sit correctly at a computer

Position the screen so that it is centred directly in front of you. The top of the screen should be a couple of inches above eye level. You should be sitting no less than an arm’s length away.

2. Keyboard, mouse and telephone

How to sit correctly at a computer

Make sure your telephone is within easy reach. Some people prefer using a headset to avoid getting stuck in the same position with your phone. The keyboard should be positioned right in front of you, with the part of the keyboard you use most centred with your body.

Amend the height of your keyboard so that your shoulders aren’t tense but relaxed. Most keyboards have a tilt feature. A tilted keyboard can help provide a straight wrist position.

You can get mouse mats which have a raised area to provide wrist support.

How to sit correctly at a computer

3. Chair

Back pain is a common problem for those sitting at their desk for long periods. Having an adjustable chair will allow you to be the correct height and tilt to the right position.

The back part of the chair should be at an angle of approximately 100 – 110°. If it’s at 90° it’s too straight and won’t provide comfort.

Your feet should be flat on the floor. If your feet dangle use a footrest.

Your chair should provide sufficient back support to your upper and lower back.

Your hips should be placed as far back in the chair as possible and your knees the same height or a little lower.

4. Room lighting and screen brightness

How to sit correctly at a computer

Are you happy with the lighting in your room? Is it bright enough, do you need a desk lamp? These are all questions you need to ask yourself.

Most people prefer working in white light as it’s supposed to help with concentration.

Ensure you are comfortable with the brightness of your screen. Most keyboards allow you to adjust the screen brightness, or you should be able to find a button on the screen itself to alter this.

5. Short frequent breaks

How to sit correctly at a computer

Avoid eye exhaustion by resting and refocusing your eyes every so often. You can do this by simply looking away from your screen and focusing on something else in your room.

Every half an hour try to remember to take a short 1-2 minute break. If possible change tasks every hour, even if it’s for a short period, so you’re not stuck doing the same thing.

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