A Guide To Good Posture At Work

According to the Arthritis Disease Center, 50 to 80 percent of Americans 
complain of back pain in the workplace. The cause? Bad posture which results from bad habits you pick up while sitting and/or standing around your office space.

An improperly aligned spine can

put extra pressure on your muscles and ligaments—
increasing your risk of injury and back pain.

Ideal

The head aligns over the pelvis, the shoulders are back, and the muscles are balanced, giving a sleek, streamline appearance.

Postural Kyphosis

The spine in the upper back has an excessive curvature. The upper back, or thoracic region of the spine, is supposed to have a slight natural curve.

Flat Back

The pelvis is tucked in and your lower back is straight instead of naturally curved, causing you to stoop forward.

Sway Back

The pelvis is tipped  forward and the spine bends back sharply. Both your low back and your mid-upper back curve become exaggerated.

How To Guide To Posture

Sitting

A – The height of your work surface should allow you to work without reaching or bending. Arrange commonly used items such as staplers and phones so that they are within easy reach.
B – Forearms should be parallel to the floor and at an approximate 90 degree angle from your upper arms.
C – Wrists, neck and head should be in a relaxed neutral position – not angled up or down.
D – The distance between your eyes and the monitor should be at least 15.7” or more – typically arms’ length.
E – The top one-third of your computer screen should be positioned at or below eye level.
G – Adjust the height of your seat so that your feet are resting firmly on the floor. Use a foot rest if you feel that your feet are not properly supported.
H – The depth of your seat should allow the back of your knees to extend beyond the edge of your seat. Thighs should be approximately parallel to the floor.
DO NOT stand in the same  position for long periods of time. Move around and shift your weight.

Sitting properly may reduce pressure on your back and help improve your posture. Get up and move every 20 minutes. This can include walks down the hall, stretches, and core strength exercises.

Standing

A – The height of your work surface should allow you to work without reaching or bending. Arrange commonly used items such as staplers and phones so that they are within easy reach.
B – Forearms should be parallel to the floor and at an approximate 90 degree angle from your upper arms.
C – Wrists, neck and head should be in a relaxed neutral position – not angled up or down.
D – The distance between your eyes and the monitor should be at least 15.7” or more – typically arms’ length.
F – To insure that neutral neck and head posture are maintained, individuals who wear corrective lenses, particularly multi-focal lenses, may need to adjust the height of their monitor to a lower position and tilt t he monitor at 30°-40° angle.
DO NOT stand in the same  position for long periods of time. Move around and shift your weight.

Good Standing Posture occurs when your ears, shoulders and hips are all in a straight line.

The Benefits of Good Posture

Seated Exercises You Can Do At Work

Standing Exercises You Can Do At Work

The American Heart Association urges 30 minutes of walking per day to reduce the risk of heart disease. 100 steps per minute is considered a reasonable pace.

Going forward — healthy habits at work:

Consider developing the following healthy habits:

  • Spend at least 30 minutes every day being active.
  • Take the stairs instead of using the elevator. Climbing stairs for 10 minutes will burn 150 calories (calculated using 150 pound as base weight).
  • Stand up and stretch at least once every hour.
  • Ride your bike to work instead of driving.
Download the full pdf infographic here.
  • [1] “Time for an Ergonomic Touch-Up: Staples Survey Shows Office Ergonomics Can Improve Productivity and Well-BeingOffice ” Staples Advantage.com, Feb. 17th, 2011
  • [2] “Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work, 2013” US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Press Release December 16, 2014
  • [3] ibid, p.1.
  • [4] “Reducing Occupational Sitting Time and Improving Worker Health: The Take-a-Stand Project, 2011” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vol.9 ¬ Oct 11, 2012
  • [5] “The effects of feedback on computer workstation posture habits”, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22246307