If the ergonomic chair you had at the office has been downgraded to Gran’s antique, it’s no wonder you’re experienci­ng neck or back pain. Invest in your wellbeing and save on physio bills. Here’s what to look out for:

• COMFORT Chair Crazy (chaircrazy.co.za) stocks a wide selection of new chairs; and Moving On (movingon.co.za) is great for secondhand bargains.

• ADEQUATE LUMBAR SUPPORT Buy a spine-support pillow online on Takealot (takealot.com), or roll up a small towel to put behind your back.

• HEIGHT Your desk and chair are at the correct height when your forearms and thighs are roughly parallel to the floor (with your elbows at approximat­ely 90 degrees).

• FOOT SUPPORT Rest your feet on a footstool if they’re not flat on the ground (or put that outdated phone directory to good use).

• POSTURE Your head should be directly above your shoulders and hips. Tuck in your chin and relax and drop your shoulders.

• POSITION Your head needs to be about an arm’s length away from your screen.

• If you’re working on a laptop, consider using a separate keyboard and mouse – or a larger computer monitor – to stop you from craning your neck. Keep your keyboard and mouse close to each other to avoid having to reach.

• Use a hands-free device for long phone calls to prevent neck strain.

• It’s called a laptop, but don’t use it on your lap for any length of time. Place it on a stand to raise the screen to eye level, and use a separate keyboard on a lower level. (iStore stocks inexpensiv­e Ergoprop stands. A couple of dictionari­es will also do).

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