How to sit at a computer?

How to properly sit at a computer desk?

How to sit at a computer to avoid neck pain? You’re destroying your body if so. Do you sit at a computer for longer than 6 hours a day? Here’s the setup you need to protect yourself from posture problems and crippling long-term injuries:

Before we dive in, grab your small violin:

I’ve broken my neck. My spine’s held together by metal. I’ve had 20+ hours of surgery so I’m a risk factor nightmare. So, I’ve spent 100s hours researching to prevent problems.

This article is a distillation.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Avoid sub-optimal positions for long periods of time
  2. Basic exercises to avoid the modern ‘slumped’ posture First, you’ll see the setup.

Then I’ll give you two simple exercises that will save you years of recovery.

Essential #1: A Second Monitor

How to sit at a computer? Especially if you’re writing on a laptop.

This will:

  • Stop you using your hands as much (no tab switching).
  • Improve your head position 
  • Feel cool

Did you know this? 👇A Second Monitor Especially if you’re writing on a laptop

Your head weighs as much as a bowling ball.

How to sit at a computer to avoid neck pain?

The reason your neck hurts is that it can’t keep up. We spend our lives looking down at screens.

Everything should be at eye level.

So, these two are important…

How heavy is your head?

Your head weighs as much as a bowling ball.

Correcting Head Position:

Essential# 2: A laptop stand

Essential #3: A small table stand

(or anything to hit the correct elevation)

Correcting Head Position to computere

Correcting Head Position

Fixing The Shoulder Position

How to sit at a computer?

Last year, I tore my rotator cuff.

It took 6 months to have 1 pain-free day.

If your posture looks like this, you’re at risk of loads of issues. So…

Bad vs Good Posture

Fixing The Shoulder Position

Essential# 3: Keyboard Shelf

How to sit at a computer desk?

Shoulders need to be relaxed, not raised.

They need to back, not forward.

If you need to reach for your keyboard or mouse, a shelf is essential.

Keyboard Shelf, Shoulders need to be relaxed, not raised

Keyboard Shelf

(Optional)# 4: A Split Keyboard

A normal keyboard puts your shoulder into internal rotation.

A split keyboard opens you up.

And yes, it’s terrible at first. Expect to slow down. But after 6 months, a normal keyboard feels horrible.

Order now:

A Split Keyboard

A Split Keyboard

Essential# 5: A Good Chair

You need:

The right height for your hips.

Good lumbar support.

And ideally, a head rest.

This stops your head from creeping forward.

And DO NOT have armrests.

Your arms should hang naturally and have no pressure on the elbows (too many nerves).


Essential #8: Footrest

This keeps your hips at the right angle, preventing lower back pain and sciatica.


Sitting at a computer does two things:

  1. 1. Tightens your chest muscles
  2. 2. Weakens your back muscles

There are loads you can do, but I appreciate you’re probably at an office – so let’s keep it simple.

Sitting at a computer does two things

Sitting at a computer does two things


First, work to a timer.

You need to stretch often. ‘When you feel like it’ doesn’t happen. And once a day isn’t enough.

This is good practice for focus anyway because it aligns with the Pomodoro technique.

I do 50 minutes of writing, and 10 minutes of rest.

25/5 also works.


Exercise: Chest/Thoracic Stretch


In a doorway.

Against a wall.

30-second hold minimum. & Breath ‘into the muscles.


Exercise: Band Pull Apart

I guarantee your rotator cuff is weak.

Especially if you’re a bench bro. (At the gym, back: pressing volume should be 2:1 – minimum.)

Pulling apart will correct this.

You can also do this without a band, but it’s less effective.


And there you have it.

The set-up costs roughly 500 bucks all in (the desk and keyboard are the most expensive).

But trust me:

Investing in health is a no-brainer.

You are your greatest source of income. But only if you can operate at your best.



Most of us will be crippled by 2030.

These things will help:

  • Make sure screens are at eye level
  • Shoulders down & back, elbows at 90 degrees
  • A split keyboard and standing desk
  • Loosen your chest/thoracic
  • Strengthen your back

Look after yourself. Be happy and enjoy your life. To read more about how to live happily.

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