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There has been a lot of talk recently about the need to sit less. Banner headlines like ‘Sitting is the new Smoking’ have gained wide recognition with the help of the Daily Mail and others.
The research does give genuine cause for concern. Well being is high on most organisation’s agendas. The truth is that we do need to sit some of the time because despite the ever-increasing use of smartphones and tablets, most of us still use a computer for sustained periods. Our posture is therefore just as important as it ever was and especially as we try to reach inbox zero.
Many of the rules about seated computer use and workstation layout can be applied to standing postures. Indeed, if you understand (and think about it) the underlying principles of ergonomics and posture, you can use these ideas when using tablets, watching TV, driving the car and countless other situations.
Seven key considerations are:
- Adjust your chair to support you in a comfortable posture.
Good Sitting Posture
- Check the seat is at the right height and use a footrest if you need one.
- Ensure the seat depth is suitable for your thigh length. You should have a few centimetres between the front of the seat and the back of your knee. If it is less, you may not be able to sit back properly on the chair. If it is much more, the front of your thighs are not getting enough support.
- Sit with the chair close to the desk.
- Put the screen directly in front of you. Set the height so that your head is vertical and you are looking down slightly when viewing it.
- Arrange your worktop layout according to which tools you use most frequently. The keyboard should be about 10cm away from the front of your desk.
- Keep items in constant use close by eg telephone, mouse and keyboard. Keep the last two as close to each other as possible. Make sure you don’t have to stretch and turn for other items such as the telephone.
Good Standing Posture
If your workstation allows you to stand some of the time, remember the key standing rules:
- Mix sitting and standing throughout the day.
- Check your standing posture. Swapping bad sitting posture for bad standing posture is not a good idea!
- Make sure the desk is high enough so that you avoid a standing slouch.
You can find further sit-stand tips here. Regular stretches and strengthening of core muscles are also recommended.
Tags: Guy Osmond, inbox zero, well being