Correct Ergonomics of Sitting at a Computer Desk – Advice from Physiotherapist Christina Foch


  • Creating equinimity to body musculoskelatal system
  • Reduce fatigue of muscles that when out of balance are overused
  • Reduce weakness of muscles that when out of balance are underused
  • Conserve body energy because of the above statements
  • Looks professional and commands higher level of respect


  • If body is extremely out of balance it will take a while for this to feel right. Muscles that have been underused will need to be developed which may cause some soreness at first. Do not be alarmed if it takes a few weeks to feel really good doing this. If this is the case, it is even more important that you stick to it because you are not sitting properly and you are hurting yourself in the long term. Neutral sitting does not cause strain.

Key Points

  • Root down from waist and lengthen up from the same place
  • Breathe through nose as much as possible Inhale strength and energy, exhale releasing tension and rooting down
  • Ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips lined up to knees, knees over ankles
  • RSI Risks of Not Sitting Correctly
  • Neck Strain
  • Eye Strain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Upper Back Pain
  • Poor Breathing Patterns
  • Weak abdominals/ Poor digestion
  • Vericose Veins
  • Poor Circulation – cold extremities
  • Fatigue to body from overusing muscles that are compensating underused muscles


  • Knees lined up with hips
  • Knees over ankles and feet hip width apart
  • Rooting down through sitting bones create a balance of weight on right and left side
  • Tail bone is pointing down towards seat – DO NOT arch back which points tailbone towards back of chair and creates strain to back; DO NOT curl tail bone under which causes strain to upper back and weakens the abdominal area
  • Bottom Ribs are over hips – NOT poking forward or softening inwards which also creates strain on back
  • Shoulders are down; not up towards ears. They should be drawn towards each other in the back and down (keep the bottom ribs rule in mind when making this adjustment)
  • Chin is in line with the notch in throat. The chin is parallel to floor. If it is angled up there will be tension on the front of the throat muscles. If it is angled down there will be tension and strain on the back of the neck
  • Ears are lined up over shoulders
  • Breathe deeply feeling expansion and energy on the inhale and release of tension and softening on the exhale. Breath pattern should be long breaths working towards *5-8 breaths (or less) per minute for optimum calmness and conservation of energy
  • For healthy breathers only – if you suffer from asthma or any other breathing disorder this rule may not apply to you. Check with your physician.Neutral Sitting for Optimum alignment and Body Balance


Consider This

  • Proper posture while sitting is a preventative tool to reduce strain and pain in the body. It’s in your own interest to sit properly. When the body is in balance, it does not overuse energy which keeps your energy levels up. The body, when in balanced alignment, looks slimmer and more confident. Just by sitting up straight, your abdominal muscles are being used. This is the best workout you can do without the sweat and travel to the gym! This is a no cost, time efficient way to improve your self image and prevent future aches and pains to your body. If you are already in pain or strain, this change will help you on your way to an overall reduction of stress to your body.

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