By Shi Tianyun
I hate my office chair.
The seat sinks straight down to the minimal height so I’m left feeling like a midget at my desk, having to sit up really straight to prop my elbows on my desk to reach the keyboard. I like to be perched high up so I can look down at the computer screen. Attempts to adjust the seat so it stays at optimal height have failed. Needless to say, I’m not on best terms with my chair.
I’m not one to bow down to the elements (or evil chair, in this case) and so far have resorted to sitting on a cushion so I’m taller and happier. But somehow at the back of my mind, there was a nagging thought – maybe the chair was helping me with my posture, after all, I’m forced to keep my back straight, instead of comfortably slouching, like I usually do. So I did some research to find out just what is the best posture to have at work.
The best sitting alignment, it turns out, is when:
• Your feet are resting flat on the ground.
• Your hips and knees are level or hips slightly above knees.
• Your hips are pushed as far back as they can go in the chair.
• Your spine is vertical or slightly reclined while the small arch in the lower back is maintained.
• Your shoulders are relaxed down from the ears.
• Your elbows are bent at 90 degrees.
• Your wrists are straight.
• Your head is not protruding forward.
• The top of your computer screen is between five and eight cm above your eye level.
• Your computer screen is an arm’s length away and keyboard should be as close to you as possible.
Sounds like a lengthy list eh? Turns out my preferred slouching position isn’t the most ideal - the evil chair seems slightly less evil now. I’ve tried to “contort” my body in the above ways since then. Initially the correct posture was uncomfortable but I’m pleased to report that after hours stuck at my desk, my back aches less than it did before. While we all can’t all rest our bottoms on ergonomic chairs at work (take the hint, bosses!), we can make certain tweaks that our backs and necks – and the rest of your body – will thank us for.
Do you have the same love-hate relationship with your office furniture? Share with us in the comment box!
The JobsCentral Group, a CareerBuilder company, is the owner of JobsCentral.com.sg, one of Singapore's largest job and learning portals. Get a free career personality test and more career- and education-related articles at JobsCentral and JobsCentral Community. Alternatively, Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter for more career-centric content!