Are you sitting comfortably?

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    • According to recent research, micro-business owners work an average of 52 hours a week, while those in London are working the longest week at 61 hours, significantly more than the average working adult in the UK.

      These long hours invested into your business can mean more time spent sat at your desk, and this can lead to back pain if you’re not sitting properly.

      About 7.6 million working days are lost each year due to work-related back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders, so taking time to make small changes to your working environment can be of significant benefit to your health and the health of your business in the long run.

      Follow these five simple steps to improve your posture and keep your back in good health:

      Get the right support

      Avoid back pain by adjusting your chair so that your lower back is properly supported. Ensure that your knees are level with your hips, using a foot rest if necessary. The basic rule is to plant your feet firmly on the floor to support your back. Don't cross your legs, as this can cut off circulation and cause hip problems.

      Adjust your chair

      A correctly adjusted chair will reduce the strain on your back. Make sure you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor. Your elbows should be by the side of your body, so that the arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint.

      Maintain eye level

      If you use a computer screen for work then it should be directly in front of you, with your monitor about an arms length away and the top of the screen at eye level so you don’t strain your eyes.

      Keep your keyboard close

      Your keyboard needs to be immediately in front of you with a gap of between four to six inches (100mm-150mm) at the front of the desk to rest your wrists between when not physically typing. Your wrists should be straight when using a keyboard, with your elbows vertical under your shoulder and right by your side.

      Avoid phone strain

      Consider using a headset if you spend a lot of time using the phone for work, as cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can strain the muscles in your neck.