A Healthier Way to Sit at Your Desk

From Better Homes and Gardens

Sitting at a desk all day seems fairly benign. But over time, repetitive motions performed with poor posture can lead to aches and pains and even injury. Put yourself in the best position with these tweaks to your workstation.

Back it up.

For the most support, scoot as far back on the seat of your chair as possible, with your tailbone resting against the chair, says Karen Jacobs, Ed.D., clinical professor of occupational therapy at Boston University. Adjust the height so your feet touch the floor; use a footrest if necessary.

Get the right support.

The back of the chair should curve to support (and touch) your lower back. If it doesn’t, invest in a lumbar support attachment.

Put your computer at arm’s length.

Your monitor should be 18–28 inches away, with the top of the screen slightly lower than eye level. Have a desk lamp? To prevent glare, place it next to your computer, not above or behind it.

Keep your wrists neutral.

When you type, your elbows should bend at a 90-degree angle, and your wrists should be level with the keyboard (not arched). You might need a wrist rest or keyboard tray.

Stand and stretch.

Research shows that sitting for hours might raise your risk of health issues including heart disease (not to mention aches and pains), so get up and walk around about every 20 minutes.

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