Updated: Apr 18, 2021
By Ezra Elias Vivas
[Image description: Digital art of a person seated at the computer. There are measurements that demonstrate proper posture: their eyes are 45-70 cm away from the monitor, their spine is a straight line, their elbows, hips, and knees are all at 90-120O, their feet are slightly raised on the foot of their desk, and they are at an ergonomic office chair. There’s a cup of coffee on their desk that says, “Take breaks every 25 mins,” and a clock with 25 minutes colored in. End image description.] Image via Posture Guide.
Gen Z is full of digital natives. We grew up with family desktop computers, cell phones, video game consoles, and the rapidly-changing digital landscape that accompanied it. As children, some of us may have learned about healthy posture while using a computer, but considering that Americans spend around twelve hours a day looking at screens (and that statistic is from 2019! Imagine how much higher those numbers are now, especially since so many people are doing online school), a refresher can’t hurt.
The easiest and most obvious change in posture is to make sure you’re sitting upright. Roll your shoulders back and down so you aren’t hunched over your computer. Ideally, the top of your screen should be at eye level and 45-70 centimeters (roughly 16-28 inches) away from you. Relax your body. Tension and stress will only exacerbate issues. Make sure your wrists are unbroken and relaxed.
Once you’ve got the top half down, make sure your feet are flat on the floor. This can be difficult for people with ADHD or other neurodivergent conditions, so if having to keep your feet still on the ground seems impossible, consider looking into a standing desk or use a yoga ball as a chair. An ergonomic chair is helpful either way. Make sure your hips are flush to the back of the chair to avoid leaning too far forward or backward.
Sometimes, you’re simply going to have to take breaks. Every 25 minutes or so, stop and do some stretches. Stand up and walk around. Avoiding repetitive stress injuries comes with avoiding the repetitive motions associated with them.
If you’re experiencing pain that doesn’t go away or gets worse as time goes on, consider seeing a doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor, to check for chronic conditions.
Written by writer Ezra Elias Vivas