Updated: Feb 5
Day after day, sitting (or maybe standing) at a desktop or laptop can generate a lot of muscle and joint stress. Anything less than perfect posture is a recipe for pain. The placement of the head over the shoulder girdle, the points of rest for the elbows, the amount of sway in the lumbar spine, the distribution of weight between the feet, thighs and buttocks all are delicate details that must be considered when setting up a posture-positive work space.
Working at a computer for long hours is kinda like taking a long hike (without the fresh air). You need proper equipment. For the hike, you need good shoes and maybe hiking sticks for rough terrain; for computer work, if you're going to sit for a while you need a good chair. For working on a laptop, you need a stand and good peripherals.
Looking for a new (or like new) chair? These two office furniture stores have an excellent selection: http://mosercorporation.com/officefurniture.htm https://www.cousinsfurniture.com/ and great customer service!
Different body types require adjustable equipment to fit the length of the arms (forearms and upper arms), the length of the spine versus the thighs and legs, and the position and type of computer, desk, chair and peripherals needed to complete tasks and projects.
This is a great video on how to set up your computer whether a desktop or laptop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLY03KrcpKI (5 minute video)
Do you use a standing desk? Please check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPFUKbipJHs
For elbow position look at the pictures and note how the arm rests support the weight of the arm and shoulder. This is more important than supporting the wrists.
Now, sit with your spine upright, neither leaning forward or backward with your low back supported. This is the best for your spine. If the seat is too deep, this is not possible. A person with shorter thighs needs a chair that adjusts for seat depth. People with shorter lower legs may need a foot stool. If the chair is set real low, it may be too low for proper arm positioning, so the fix is to raise the floor (with a foot rest).
A good chair should adjust for thigh length (don’t you wish couches would too!), upper arm length (with arm rests) and of course height of chair.
To work long hours on a laptop, it should be raised up so the top of the screen is level with your eyes and use a separate keyboard and mouse.
Thanks for reading. Put these suggestions to work for your health.