Health Tips

Resource: Tina L. Trammell, OTR, CKTP
Licensed Occupational Therapist

Ergonomic Tips and Tricks: How is Your Posture?

Poor posture at a computer desk can result in neck, back and hand pain. To resolve this problem, it is helpful to understand the concept of neutral body positioning. Neutral body positioning is a comfortable working posture in which joints are naturally aligned. Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and skeletal system. It also reduces the risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD).

Important considerations when attempting to maintain a neutral body posture while at a computer workstation include:

  • Hands, wrist, and forearms remain straight, in-line and roughly parallel to the floor.
  • Head is level, or bent slightly forward, forward facing, and balanced (generally in-line with the torso).
  • Shoulders are relaxed and upper arms hang normally at the side of the body.
  • Elbows stay in close to the body and are bent between 90 and 120 degrees.
  • Feet are fully supported by the floor or footrest.
  • Back is fully supported with appropriate lumbar support when sitting vertical or leaning back slightly.
  • Thighs and hips are supported and generally parallel to the floor.
  • Knees are about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward.