In this blog you will learn easy tips to prevent bad posture related to improper furniture in a workplace.

According to recent research students spend about 84% of their time in the sitting position and combined to improper furniture, the risk of muscle fatigue and lack of productivity increase. In addition, The students may lose focus and concentration which could contribute to poor academic performance.

What is improper furniture in a workplace?

Furniture in a workplace is related to the seat and desk height, and dept, in relation with the person’s height.

What happen to the body if the seat is not comfortable?

  • Too low chairs may increase tendency of leaning forward, tilting the pelvis posteriorly, decreasing lower back curve, and developing a forward head posture.
  • Too high chairs increase the forward head posture, make the abdominal muscles weak and increase tightness in the back.
  • Too shallow chairs make the body work harder, the thighs do not have enough support producing muscle fatigue.
  • Too deep chairs cause compression behind the knee, lead to a slumped and forward head posture. As a result, the person tends to slide forward lacking back support and placing the buttocks on the edge of the seat.
  • Sit with no back support increases the forward head and slumped posture.

What happen to the body if the desk is not comfortable?

  • Too high desk produce more stress in neck and shoulders. The shoulders have to raise more straining the neck muscles to stabilized the head posture and the elbow rest is lower than the desk.
  • Too low desk increases the tendency of bending forward more creating a rounded shoulder posture.The head tends to move forward increasing the risk neck and shoulder tension.

What happen to the body with a tablet use on the bed or lap?

Tablet on the bed or lap produce the following issues:

  • Tablet on the bed or lap position contribute to a higher wrist extension in both hands compared to desk position.
  • The head tilt more adopting a forward head posture.
  • Slouching posture.
  • As the usage duration increases the muscle discomfort and fatigue increase.

What is a comfortable furniture?

Proper furniture is related to the body feeling comfortable, maintaining an effortless posture. Proper furniture is necessary for a good health, energy conservation, motivation, and academic performance.

Recommendations choosing the right Furniture

Chair characteristics:

  • A good chair maintain the normal back curves and contribute to less discomfort in neck and back.
  • Seats with cushion are more comfortable than wooden or metals chairs.
  • Good seat cushion made of a breathable fabric.
  • Swivel chairs are better to easily rotate to be able to reach in any direction without stressing the back or arms.
  • Comfortable backrest to support the inward curve of the lower back, prevent and slouch posture, and stabilize the back and hips.
  • Arm rest is a must have to relieve neck, shoulder and back tension and prevent upper body fatigue.
  • Desktop-seat height and sitting elbow height should be 3 to 5 cm higher than the sitting elbow height.

Good working Posture

A person should be able to sit with a relaxed posture and put the least amount of stress in other body structures in the moment of reaching to complete a task.

  • Back rest should be positioned below shoulder blades or no higher than the edge of the shoulder blades to allow back and arms mobility.
  • Shoulder feel relaxed.
  • Forearm should not be on the armrest while writing or typing.
  • Angle for the shoulder while writing or typing should be 0-25 degrees for shoulder flexion and 0-20 degrees for shoulder abduction.
  • Thighs horizontally or parallel to the floor with a gap of 2 to 4 inches between the back of the knee and the seat chair.
  • Feet should be flat on the floor.

Proper monitor high and distance

  • Directly in front of the chair and parallel to keyboard.
  • Top of the screen at eye level or 10 to 15 degree downward eye level. Angle screen away from window.
  • If you wear bifocals place the monitor 2 inches lower than the standard measurement.

Proper keyboard and mouse position

  • Place keyboard and mouse in front of the chair at elbow and forearm height.
  • Keyboard should be around five centimetres from the front edge to the desk.
  • Mouse in line with the keyboard.

Easy DIY fixes for your furniture and posture in your workplace

  • The seat is too low or the desk is too high Bring yourself to a higher position sitting on a pillow.
  • Feel like you are being pushed back Put a pillow behind your back until your weight is on the pelvic floor and your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Feet are not touching the floor Stock some book or put a small stool to rest your feet flat until your back feels relaxed.
  • You feel the need of looking down and bringing head forward to see the computer screen Tilt the computer up and back so you don’t have to look down and your chin is more relaxed.
  • Laptop is on your lap and you have to bend forward to be able to type and read Placed a blanket folded or a pillow on your lap until your arms are supported and your back feels relaxed.
  • Legs are hanging while sitting on the sofa Put a pillow under your feet to relax your legs.
  • Your back is not vertical and is leaning back to reach the back support Put a pillow behind your back to relax your spine and keep the back vertical.
  • Your head and neck feel tense while resting on the sofa Put a pillow behind your head.
  • Your elbows and forearms are not supported while resting on the sofa Put a pillow under your arms and feel how your shoulder relax.

And always remember find a position that is comfortable for you and feel effortless

Are you dealing with neck tension or bad posture? Make an appointment today. Doctor Alexandra can help you on you healing journey to meet your needs and goals.

The information in this blog is for educational and informational purpose only, Its content is provided based upon evidence-based medicine, knowledge, and experience as a doctor of physical therapy.