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Seated workstation: The rule of 90’s

When you’re setting up your workstation, whether it’s at home or at an office, you want to make sure you’re following a few simple guidelines that can be summed up as “the rule of 90’s.” And no, this is not a conceptualization of how the garage band Nirvana defined a decade+ of music.

Working from the ground up, the rule of 90’s starts at your ankles. Both feet should be flat on the floor with a 90 degree angle at your ankle (between the floor and your lower leg). Moving up, your knees should be at a 90 degree angle between the lower and upper legs. You should be sitting on your glutes with your hips hinging at (you guessed it) a 90 degree angle between your upper legs and your torso. This means you’re going to be sitting nice and straight, no slouching. Progressing further upwards, your elbows should be close to your body, with as close as can be to a 90 degree angle between your lower arms and upper arms. Last, and certainly not least, you should be aiming for a 90 degree angle with your line of sight and the computer monitor. This means you’ll ideally be looking straight ahead at the screen. Please enjoy my very special, very rough stick figure illustration regarding these rules ?

Simple adjustments can be made to your setup to achieve these rules, too. Try moving the chair height up and down if you’re using a traditional office chair. If you need a taller chair in order to be looking straight at the screen but that leaves your feet dangling, add some kind of block or foot rest to lift them up. If you’re looking down at the screen no matter what you do, try putting some heavy books underneath the monitor to raise it up. If you’re stuck with a laptop, there are inexpensive laptop risers that can change the angle of the screen while keeping the keyboard accessible.

By obeying the rule of 90’s, you’re going to be decreasing excessive stress and strain on your body by being as ergonomically compliant as possible. This is going to decrease potential aches and pains and help to increase productivity and general happiness through your work day.

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