It may seem like the laziest position around, but sitting on your bottom all day in an office environment can actually cause serious injury including back pain, eye pain, repetitive strain injury, neck pain, headaches, and thigh strain. This article explains how to sit properly to avoid all of these problems.
How to sit at a desk properly
The first and most important thing is to have a proper desk chair that allows for correct posture. This should be provided by your employer. If you don’t have one and find yourself sitting on a normal straight-backed chair or canteen chair, you’re well within your rights to ask for one.
Once you have a proper desk chair, position it so that the top of your head is level with the top of your monitor, your feet are either flat on the ground or positioned firmly on a footrest, and your wrists rest gently and naturally on the surface of the desk.
Sit back in the chair so that the whole of your spine is supported, and don’t cross your legs as this can impede circulation. Finally, if you’re going to be typing, ensure that your keyboard is propped up at a shallow angle of around 7 to 10 degrees from the desk surface.
This posture should prevent most types of common desk injury, but remember that sitting down all day is always unhealthy and can contribute to many major health problems including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. You should always remember to get up and walk around for at least five minutes several times a day.
Another great way to get a little bit of exercise while at your desk is to use a balance ball instead of a chair. Ask your employer if this would be feasible (but bear in mind that it may be seen as a health and safety risk, depending on where your desk is positioned).
Injuries due to bad posture at work
If you have developed a long-term injury such as back pain or repetitive strain injury and it wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. Your employer has a duty to keep you safe in the workplace, and that means providing the proper equipment that allows you to perform your duties without injury.
If you’d like to find out more about the legal provision of personal injury compensation, simply call Accident Advice Helpline whose experts will help you find out how much you could be entitled to. The line is open 24 hours a day, and is completely free to call.