Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 12:31 pm

With increasing workplace injuries and disorders due to bad posture from workstations, ergonomics and wellbeing within the workplace has never been so important.

â??A holistic, health-positive office that encourages movements, large and small throughout the day, helps us feel better, work better and be more satisfied,â? says Lillian Antonio, ergonomist at furniture company Herman Miller.

Here are a few pointers on how to achieve a good posture from making small adjustments to the workstation.
1. The eyes always win
Monitor position and height is important in ensuring a good posture. If the position isnâ??t correct then the body will adapt to achieve the correct viewing distance. This can result in awkward postures which in turn put strain on other parts of the body such as the neck or back.
â??Position your monitor directly in front of you at eye level, when sitting up straight,â? says Antonio. It should be approximately armâ??s length away from you. This is a guideline, so a little further or closer is not a problem, as long as your eyes are comfortable throughout the day. You can achieve this by using a monitor arm or, if youâ??re using a laptop, a laptop raiser or even just a pile of books. An additional keyboard and mouse would be needed with a laptop.
2.  A good upright posture and leaning back in the chair
To maintain a good upright posture for any period of time your back needs to be properly supported.

â??The chair is usually the piece of furniture which is the most adjustable and itâ??s important that it is adjusted correctly,â? she says. Itâ??s just as easy to adjust it badly and encourage a poor posture.”

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When typing or using the computer intensely an upright posture should be adopted, but research has shown that leaning back in the chair helps to decrease the pressure in the lumbar area of the spine.

“So as long as your back is properly supported by the chair, leaning back when youâ??re on the phone or reading a document is good for you.” says 
3.  Feet on the floor
Having your feet firmly planted on the floor when seated is important in protecting your back, this is because if your feet arenâ??t supported by the floor youâ??ll have a tendency to either sit forwards in your chair, away from your backrest in order to get your feet on the floor, or potentially create pressure points on the underside of the thighs. Another common position is with your feet wrapped around the base of the chair; the problem with this position is that it will pull your upper body forwards putting a lot of strain on your lower back. If your desk is too high for you to position your feet comfortably on the floor you need to use a footrest.
4.  Keep your equipment close
It seems obvious but keeping your equipment; in particular your mouse and keyboard close to you will help you to maintain a good posture. It is common that throughout the day your keyboard and mouse will creep further and further away from you on the desk and this in turn means you lean more and more forwards. Ideally your arms should be at a right angle, at the side of the body and you should be able to reach these items. This will ensure your arms are well supported by your shoulders.
5.  No posture is good if itâ??s held all day
â??Even when sitting correctly we need to change our position and posture regularly,â? she says.  Research has shown that it is the total amount of time we spend at our workstations each day which is mostly responsible for reported problems rather than the precise postures we adopt or the equipment we use. Thatâ??s why guidance on safe and comfortable working with computers always emphasises the need for regular changes or breaks.
Herman Miller is regarded as one of the pioneers in workspace ergonomics and is introducing its Thrive Portfolio of ergonomic furnishings and fittings to the South African workplace. The Thrive Portfolio is rooted in ergonomic insight and includes seating solutions, performance tables, monitor arms and supports as well a task light.
For free online information on how to set up your workstation and chair, visit www.ergonomicshub.com.
For more information on Herman Miller visit www.hermanmiller.com or contact All Office on  011 262 5792  or  021 440 7700 .

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.