Good Posture in the Work Place

Seated Working Postures

A good working posture for example the posture used at a computer workstation is one which can be maintained with a minimum of muscular effort. In general:

1 A varied working posture is better than a fixed or static posture.

2 A fixed and relaxed posture is better than a fixed and tense posture.

Neutral body positioning is a comfortable working posture in which your joints are naturally aligned. Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on the muscles, tendons and skeletal system and reduces your risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). The following are important considerations when attempting to maintain neutral body postures when working at the computer workstation or if you are expected to sit whilst tasking:
Avoid forward inclination of the head and neck. The head should be balanced on the neck (not tilted back or too far forwards) and forward facing. Generally it should be in-line with the trunk
Avoid leaning forward with the trunk.
Avoid requiring the upper limbs to be used in a raised position. Shoulders should be relaxed with the upper arms hanging normally at the side of the body.
The elbows should stay in close to the body and be bent between 90 and 120 degrees. Where possible keep joints within the middle third of their range of movement!
The hands, wrists and forearms should be straight, in-line and roughly parallel to the floor.
The knees should be about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward. The angle behind the knee joint (popliteal) should be open i.e. greater than 90 degrees
The thighs and hips should be supported by a well-padded seat and should generally be parallel to the floor.
The chair seat should not compress behind the knees.

The feet should be fully supported by floor or footrest.
The back should be fully supported with appropriate lumbar support when sitting vertical or leaning back slightly.
Twisted and asymmetric postures should be avoided.
Wherever muscular forces must be exerted the limbs should be in a position of greater strength as in for example pushing upwards or working above the shoulder and head

Upright sitting posture.

The user’s trunk and neck are approximately vertical and in-line, the thighs are approximately horizontal and the lower legs are vertical.

Declined sitting posture.

The user’s thighs are inclined with the buttocks higher than the knee and the angle between the thighs and the trunk greater than 90 degrees. The trunk is vertical or slightly reclined and the legs are vertical.

Reclined sitting posture.

The user’s trunk and neck are straight and recline between 105 and 120 degrees from the thighs.

Regardless of how good your working posture is, working in the same posture or sitting still for prolonged periods is not healthy. You should change your working position frequently throughout the day in the following ways:

Make small adjustments to your chair or backrest

Stretch your fingers, hands, arms and trunk – refer to the 7 Way Stretch in your workbook and undertake these exercises as often as is permitted throughout the working day

Stand up and walk around for a few minutes periodically

Please note!!!

When using a mouse make sure that the arm is as close to the body as possible, not stretched forwards to a desk or out sideways to reach the mouse and that the arm is relaxed. Try to move the mouse in an arc rather than a straight line!