This should help you feel better if you stare at a computer for a good part of your day. We can thank Condé Nast Publications for these suggestions on how to relieve tension and stress:
- Let’s focus on your shoulders. Alana Reed is a fitness instructor in Manhattan who specializes in Pilates, which helps keep the spine intact. She says your shoulders should be relaxed and aligned with your hips when you sit. Also, instead of leaning across your desk when you need the stapler, keep it – and other frequently used supplies – within arm’s reach, so you don’t have to keep repositioning yourself. Your computer monitor should be 20 inches from your face. When it’s too far away, you’re likely to stick your neck out and round your shoulders, which can damage your alignment.
- Your back. Reed says it should be flat against your seat, but your spine should keep its natural curve – not be stiff or straight. If your chair doesn’t support your lower back, use a small pillow to do the job.
- When sitting at your desk, your feet should be flat on the floor, directly below your knees. That’s the advice of Dr. David Rempel, an ergonomics expert and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He also says you need to give your muscles a break by getting up and walking around the office at least once an hour.
- Sitting at a desk all day can mess with your wrists. They should line up with your forearms and knuckles. Rampel says they shouldn’t dip when you’re typing or using a mouse, since that can lead to carpal tunnel. You should get a cushioned keyboard pad and mouse pad to help keep your form healthy.