Are you sitting comfortably

You may think that how you sit can’t really harm you, but as Shinu Varghese, Lead Physiotherapist at the Benenden Hospital points out, the human body was never made to sit so much. “The normal curve of the spine is an S shape, and the reason we have this S shape is that there is less stress on your joints and neck, and the muscles that support your back aren’t in a stressed position. If you are stooping forward your spine goes into a C shape and when that happens there’s a lot of compression on the disks at the front and the muscles at the back of the spine are stressed. After many years of abusing your back it can lead to lower back dysfunction.”

Ensure you have an adjustable chair that can be moved to make sure your lower back is properly supported.

Your knees should be very slightly lower than your hips, but not much.

If you can’t lower your seat and desk height to make sure your knees are at the right angle and height, get a footrest.

You should rest your feet FLAT on the footrest or the floor, not crossed. Don’t stretch out your legs

Your forearms should be straight in line with the floor and you should have your elbows tucked into your body, not sticking out or resting on armrests. If you find this difficult, try removing the armrests on your chair/getting a chair without them. Otherwise you risk repetitive strain injuries.

Your keyboard should be 4-6 inches from the edge of the desk so you have room to rest your wrists

When typing your wrists should be straight. You may find a wrist rest helps you keep them in the right position.

Make sure your screen is right in front of you, and you’re not looking up or down at it, or you may strain your neck. You may need a stand for the monitor to get it at the right height (or you could use a pile of books to raise it up!)

Angle your screen so your eyes don’t get strained by reflections. Use a mirror in front of the screen to work out what’s dazzling you if it’s not obvious. You may need to use lamps instead of overhead lights or reposition your desk to avoid glare from windows.

Although people’s focus differs, to avoid eye strain your monitor should be at arm’s length. If you can’t see it at that distance, consider an eye test.

Sitting in the right position is important, says Shinu Varghese, but so is moving around. “Even the right position is not good if you prolong it for more than half an hour. The human body is primarily designed for running, not sitting down.”

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Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8001 * (Lines open 8am-5pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

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Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8100 * (Lines open 8am - 8pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

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Health cash plans

Policies beginning with BEN1
Benenden Health Cash Plan (Bupa)
Anchorage 3, Anchorage Quays
Salford Quays
Manchester
M50 3XL
0800 970 6517*

Lines are open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am - 1pm Saturday.

Policies beginning with BEN2
Benenden Health Cash Plan (BHSF)
2 Darnley Road,
Birmingham,
B16 8TE
0800 414 8071

Lines are open 8.45am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

Self-pay orthopaedic surgery

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Benenden Hospital Trust
Goddard's Green Road
Benenden
Cranbrook
Kent
TN17 4AX
01580 242 521 (Lines open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

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Health assessments
Unit 1, Cameron Court
Cameron Street
Hillington Park
Glasgow
G52 4JH
0800 414 8486*

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Travel insurance
2nd Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8301*

Lines open for Sales
9am-8pm Monday to Friday 
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

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10am-5pm Sunday

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Benenden Business Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8179* (Lines open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

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Benenden Home Insurance
1st Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend on Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8556* (Lines open Monday to Friday 9am – 7pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm, excludes Bank Holidays)

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0800 294 2851* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

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0330 100 9618* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

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Charitable Trust
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8450* (Lines open 8am - 4pm Mon-Fri)