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Correct Ergonomic Posture

No matter where you are working – in an office, in your home, or even at your kitchen table – if you use the correct posture you can eliminate discomfort and reduce strain.

An image of a home office with a blue Embody chair.

Proper spine alignment while sitting and standing, eyesight accommodation and glare deflection, and regular movement are all incredibly important when it comes to wellness. If you listen to your body, you can avoid and mitigate discomfort. Herman Miller Ergonomic Specialist Rebecca Greier Horton, PG, WELL AP shared with us the proper position you should employ to make your workspace work for you.

The Chair

1. Sit all the way back in the seat and make sure your back is touching the back of the chair to support your spine’s natural S shape. When you don’t sit all the way back you don’t receive the full benefit of the chair’s support.

2. Place your feet flat on the floor. If your feet don’t reach the floor employ a footrest - you can even use a stack of books! Putting your feet on the base of the chair can reduce circulation to your legs, and can affect spinal alignment.

3. Keep your knees at a 90° angle to reduce pressure on your hips.

4. Arms should be positioned just under your forearm.

The Worksurface

1. If you can, use a sit-to-stand work surface to support a healthy mix of comfortable standing postures throughout the day. If you do not have a sit-to-stand work surface make sure you are standing up at least once an hour. Try to walk around or stretch for 2 minutes before sitting back down to work.

2. Sitting or standing, your work surface should be positioned at elbow height.

3. Your screen should be positioned on your work surface about an arm’s length away (20-28 inches on average).

4. Sit or stand up straight while working.

5. Keep your shoulders in a neutral position with no extra lift. Too-high surfaces will cause elevation at the shoulders, increasing tension in the neck and back.

6. Your elbows should be at a 90° angle, with your wrists in neutral position.

The Monitor

1. Place your monitor directly in front of your face so that your body and neck aren’t twisted while you are looking at the screen.

2. Adjust your monitor so that it is about an arms-length away. Pull your monitor to you to reduce the tendency to lean forward which increases strain on the spine, neck, and jaw.

3. Place your monitor at a comfortable viewing height so that you do not have to tilt your head up or bend your neck down to see it. If you have bi-focals or PALS try adjusting your monitor lower to prevent neck strain. If you are able consider utilizing a monitor arm or propping your monitor up on a pile of books.

4. Your screen image should be legible, flicker-free, stable, and free from glare and reflections. If possible, it should tilt and swivel easily to suit your viewing needs.

The Keyboard

1. Always ensure that your wrists are in a neutral position, which means your hands and wrists are in line with your forearms.

2. Adjust your chair so that you are in a comfortable position in relation to the worksurface and keyboard.

3. To ensure the keyboard is properly centered align the letter B with your bellybutton.

4. Adjust your keyboard so that there is at least a hand’s width (about 4-6 inches) of space between the keyboard and the edge of your worksurface to rest your hands.

The Mouse

1. When handling the mouse, keep your hand in a straight line with your forearm. Avoid bending your wrist to the left or right, or up or down.

2. Avoid mouse shapes that may cause your wrist or fingers to be bent sideways or upwards while grasping the device.

3. Keep your mouse in your primary reach zone and do not over-extend your arm. Your mouse should always stay at the same level as the keyboard surface.

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