How You Should Sit at Your Desk & Why it Matters

There are no two ways around it: those of us in the tax and e-filing industries spend a lot of time at our desks.

Unfortunately, for some of us, this means certain specific pains and aches to deal with at the end of the day. Poor desk posture can cause lower back pain, wrist pain, neck tightness, and can even affect your ease of mobility over time.

Of course, none of us wants to deal with pain if we don’t have to, and we don’t have to: avoiding these aches and pains is as simple as sitting properly. So coming directly to you from the ergonomics experts at, here’s how you should be sitting every day for optimal well-being:

First, Your Chair
Before we even talk about looking at and handling your computer, let’s make sure your foundation (aka your chair) is nice and firm.

  • -Sit your hips as far back in the chair as they can go.
  • -Adjust your seat height. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your knees parallel with (or just slightly lower than) your hips.
  • -Adjust your seat back. Go for a reclined angle between 100-110° and make sure your upper and lower back are supported.
    • -If you need, use inflatable cushions or small pillows to get the full support your back needs.
    • -And if your chair has an active back mechanism, use that to make frequent position changes.
  • -Adjust your arm rests. They should be at a height that allows your shoulders to be relaxed. If they’re in your way, remove them.

Next, the Keyboard
Keep in mind when adjusting your keyboard setup that it should not push you too far away from the other work materials on your desk (like your phone).

  • -Pull up close to your keyboard and keep it positioned so that the section you use most is centered in front of your body.
  • -When typing, your shoulders should be relaxed, your elbows in a slightly open position, and your wrists and hands straight.

Remember that wrist rests can help maintain neutral postures and pad hard surfaces BUT they should not be used while typing, only to rest your palms between strokes.

And Now, Your Workspace
Believe it or not, your computer screen(s), work documents, and telephone all have specific locations for optimal posture. The main thing to remember here is to always keep your neck in a neutral, relaxed position.

  • -Center your computer screen directly in front of you (above your keyboard). Your screen should be 2-3” above seated eye level. If you wear bifocals, however, lower the screen to a more comfortable reading level.
  • -Adjust the distance between you and your screen for your vision, but make sure to always sit at least an arm’s length away.
  • -You can reduce the glare of your screen with careful positioning.
    • -Place it at a right angle to windows and adjust your blinds or curtains as needed.
    • -If you have overhead lights, adjust the vertical screen angle and screen controls to minimize glare.
  • -Position your source documents directly in front of you. If you have space, use an in-line copy stand to keep your documents between your screen and keyboard. If not, use a document holder adjacent to your screen.
  • -Your telephone should be in easy reach, using a telephone stand if necessary. Additionally, using a headset or speakerphone can help eliminate handset cradling.

But Don’t Forget
Even though you’re now sitting properly, you’ll want to make sure to move around every so often. Prolonged, static postures inhibit blood circulation, which can take a serious toll on you.

  • -Stretch for 1-2 minutes every 20 or 30 minutes. 
  • -After each hour of work, take a break or change tasks for 5-10 minutes.
  • Always leave your computer during lunch breaks (if you can).
  • -Rest and refocus your eyes periodically to avoid eye fatigue. Glance away from your monitor(s) and focus on something in the distance.
  • -You can also rest your eyes by covering them with your palms for 10-15 seconds.

Be sure to stay tuned with ACAwise for more helpful office tips as well as important Affordable Care Act reporting information! And if you have any questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Leave a comment below or call, chat, or email our customer support team today!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *