7 Easy Ways To Correct Poor Study Posture

Posted on November 23, 2015 by Matrix Education

Students spend a considerable amount of their days (and nights!) sitting in front of a computer, typing study notes, conducting research for assignments or to browse the internet.

Effects of poor study posture

It is particularly important for students to practise good computer ergonomics as students tend to carry posture habits into their later years. Research shows computers may be influencing the development of adolescent musculoskeletal systems and these temporary posture changes may extend to changes in habitual posture. Even if the aforementioned ailments are not readily seen at their young age, they are setting up poor habits that will increase their chance of resulting pain in the future.

Short Term Long Term
  • Numbness
  • Fatigue
  • Back, shoulder and neck pain
  • Muscle tension results in mental and emotion tension which exacerbates physical tension and pain
  • Tension headaches
  • Eyestrain resulting in headache, blurred vision, dry eye and changes in colour perception.
  • Spine misalignment
  • Increased risk of osteoarthiritis
  • Cardiovascular disease due to restricted blood flow, stretched or shortened soft tissues and pain in various body parts
  • Digestive issues due to constricted intestines
  • Changes in spinal curve
  • Varicose veins due to restricted circulation
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders:
    • Repetitive Strain Injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendonitis
    • Back Pain/Disorders: Spinal disc problems and hernias

Easy ways to improve your posture

Implementing the following suggestions will decrease the stress being placed on the body and prevent many of the ailments listed above.

  1. Adjust your monitor height: position your monitor to be in line with your eyes, so you only need to move your eyes (and not your body) to see the screen. You may need to prop your monitor on some books to ensure it is correctly aligned. If your computer screen is too low, too high or not centered to align with your body, you’ll find yourself tilting or turning your head to see the monitor, causing neck and shoulder pain.
  2. Adjust your monitor distance: you should sit an arm’s length away from the computer screen as sitting too close or far can strain the eyes. Another cause of eye discomfort and headache is glare on the computer screen. This can come from indoor or outdoor lighting. To reduce eye strain, you may need to: close your window blinds, change the brightness and contrast settings on your computer, re-position internal sources of light such as lamps, or adjust your monitor position and angle.
  3. Adjust your chair: your chair height should be adjusted so that your arms are slightly above the desk, with your shoulders relaxed, elbows are bent at 90 degrees, knees are bent at right angles and in line with your hips; your thighs are parallel to the floor, and your feet are well supported when they are flat on the floor.
  4. Re-position your keyboard and mouse: place your keyboard directly in front of your body and ensure it is at a comfortable reaching distance. Ensure that you’re able to rest your arms on the desk as this will reduce the energy needed for your shoulders and neck to hold them up. Other frequently used objects, such as your telephone, should be placed within easy reach to avoid excessive stretching and twisting of any part of your body.
  5. Sit all the way into the seat: push your hips as far back into your chair as possible as this allows you to use the back of the chair to help you sit straight, giving your back muscles a break.
  6. Place your feet on the floor: avoid crossing your ankles or sitting on one leg as it can lead to poor circulation. It also places pressure on the hips and spine, and causes you to arch your back. Instead, sit upright with your feet on a flat surface and move your feet often to promote blood flow. If your feet can’t reach the floor, place a box underneath them.
  7. Move around: try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes as static postures inhibit blood circulation. Instead, take a short stretch break every half-hour. Avoid eye fatigue by resting your eyes – cover them with your palms for a few seconds or refocus your gaze from your monitor to something in the distance.

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