Back pain is the second most common cause of sickness in the UK after stress.
As we spend more time sitting at desks and using computers, we tend to sit in a way that’s comfortable but that may not necessarily be correct. Follow these simple guidelines to help reduce the pain of office work.


The secret of sitting correctly is to encourage the spine to lengthen into its natural ‘balanced’ position. Keep the head held over the shoulders and in line with the buttocks.


Tilt the seat forwards, adjust the height so that your thighs should are at right angles to your body or sloping slightly down. Your feet should be firmly on the floor, but if it’s more comfortable, use a footrest. The basic rule is to plant your feet on the floor and support your back. Tilt the chair so it’s slightly reclined.

Desk Height:

The middle row of the keyboard should be level with the elbow. If your shoulders are raised your desk may be too high and too low if you extend your arms to try to reach the keyboard.


The top of the monitor should be around eye level or just below.

Sit within reach:

Your torso should be about an arm’s length (roughly 40-70cm) from the monitor.

Don’t cross your legs:

Sitting cross-legged makes it difficult to keep your spine straight and shoulders squared.

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