Improving Your Posture at Work

Do you find yourself working at a desk all day but still want to improve your posture? Here are 5 helpful tips to work on your posture from sitting at your workplace alone!

Having Your Monitor Either Too High or Too Low:

For the average person, staring at a monitor/screen for most of the day seems to be inevitable and unavoidable. Whether you have to look up or down at your screen, either can put serious strain on your neck. Looking up at a monitor causes your neck to extend for an abnormal period of time. This extended head position can cause not only fatigue in the muscles, but also inflammation, pain and headaches! Positioning your head like this also encourages your body to adapt a slouched position, contributing to lower and upper back pain. 


Set your monitor at eye level, specifically with the search bar at eye level. With a laptop, you can do the same but with books underneath the laptop.

man sitting in front of desk

Keeping Your Feet Fixed in One Position: 

Most people don’t get enough chances to get up and walk around during their daily desk job. Even if you have a good ergonomic set-up, staying in the same position for an extended period of time can cause lower back fatigue and leg fatigue.


Above all, it is very important to prioritize movement breaks through the day. Also, add a foot-rest to your workstation so that you can switch from resting your feet on the foot-rest to having your feet on the ground throughout the day. Also, even if you just need to walk to the bathroom or get up to fax some papers, it could help to alleviate the extended periods of stress put on your body and could help with blood circulation in your legs.

ladies walking

Hunching Your Shoulders:

We all know it – don’t hunch your shoulders! This can lead to strain on your neck and shoulders, further causing pain as there are multiple trigger points in the lower neck and shoulder area that are affected by hunching over or hiking up your shoulders.


Provide a backrest for your back with curvature to support the natural curve of the spine. Also, having an armrest that lets your arms sit with a 90-degree angle at the elbow is ideal.

hunching shoulders

Reaching Too Far for Your Mouse and Keyboard:

Reaching for your mouse or keyboard repetitively throughout the day can cause muscle fatigue in your neck, shoulders, and arms, leading to muscle tension and fatigue. This can cause a lot of stiffness and pain that is very often incurred by individuals who work at desks for most of their day. Also, keyboards that are too small or not at the correct height for the individual can lead to syndromes such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and forearm strain.


Ensure that you have an ergonomically correct keyboard and mouse so that your wrists are not turned inward, outward, upward, downward or in any other irregular non-neutral position.

ergonomically correct keyboard


Slouching in Your Chair:

Believe it or not, the height or your chair also makes a big impact on your posture and on your back. With a chair too high, your legs may dangle off, leading to reduced circulation. The reduced circulation can potentially lead to varicose veins and can also lead to fatigue in the legs. However, if your chair is too low, this forces your lower back into a forward flexed position, leading to a lot of fatigue and pain in that region because of disc degeneration and other disc irregularities.


Ensure that your chair allows your legs to be positioned with a 90-degree angle at the knees.  Again, having a break during the day to get u and stretch your legs will help. Changing seated positions throughout the day is also encouraged.


  1. Adjust the height of your monitor so that the search bar is approximately at eye level
  2. Keep your feet moving throughout the day
  3. Avoid hunching your shoulders at your desk
  4. Have your mouse set up where your wrist can lie in a neutral position
  5. Adjust your chair according to your height where your legs can rest in with a 90-degree angle at the knees

Written by:

Alyssa Rivera
Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology Candidate
Clinical Assistant, Toronto Health Centre