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2,862 Tutorials

How to: Improve your posture & work environment

Reduce clutter, improve posture & minimise eyestrain

Working at a PC for hours isn't much fun. But it can also be physically painful; aches and pains may be your body's way of telling you that you have a poor posture. If you don't do something about it, these aches and pains could lead to more severe problems.

Working at a PC for hours isn't much fun. But it can also be physically painful; aches and pains may be your body's way of telling you that you have a poor posture. If you don't do something about it, these aches and pains could lead to more severe problems.

Training yourself to sit correctly at your desk is a fairly simple task. Adjusting the position of your monitor in line with NHS guidelines is a good start.

Your screen should be directly in front of you rather than off to one side. It may be less convenient, but you won't get a stiff neck from sitting at an awkward angle.

The display should be positioned an arm's length from your eye, which should be level with the top of the screen. If your display height isn't adjustable, consider investing in a monitor stand.

Alter the height, back position and tilt of your chair so that your knees are level with your hips. If your chair doesn't allow for this, use a footrest. And always sit with your bottom fully on the seat to avoid slumping.

Remembering to adopt the correct posture while concentrating on the task at hand isn't easy. Ideally, you need someone - or something - to monitor your posture and give you a nudge when it needs correcting.

PostureMinder software uses a webcam to do exactly this, displaying onscreen alerts when you need to sit up straight or take a break. PostureMinder costs £30 for the full version, but a free 30-day trial is also available.

Finally, assess the tidiness of your desk and general working area. Health and safety guidelines exist not only to ensure that your desk and working area aren't detrimental to your health, but to make sure you're comfortable while you work.

Step 1. Download the PostureMinder trial. Launch the app, create a username and click Start. The software will ask a series of questions regarding your general computing habits; answer truthfully and click Next. PostureMinder will then estimate your risk of bad posture.

PostureMinder step 1

Step 2. PostureMinder offers some advice on maintaining good posture and losing any bad habits. You'll then be asked about other elements of your working environment, such as the position of your screen and keyboard. Using your answers it generates an Issues record that can be saved and printed.

PostureMinder step 2

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