Court Reporter Posture 101

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Stretching and good posture is important for all professions, but for the court reporter who sits for hours a day, it is vital to good health.

First, try warming up your workday with a few exercises for your shoulders and neck:

Shoulder Roll: To do a shoulder roll, stand tall with your shoulders back and head held high and raise your shoulders to your ears. Roll your shoulders forward eight times, inhaling as you begin each roll. Then repeat, this time rolling your shoulders backwards eight times.

Neck and Shoulder Stretch: Stand with your weight evenly distributed between your feet. With your left hand, reach over the top of your head, placing your hand on the right-hand top of your head and gently pull to the left until you feel a stretch along your right shoulder and neck. Take five breaths. Then do the same exercise with your right hand, gently moving your head to the right, and take five breaths

Now that you’re warmed up, let’s go over some very basic sitting posture rules. These would apply not only when you’re writing, but also when you’re working at a computer.

–     Your feet need to be flat on the floor and symmetrical. Your feet may be pointed in or out, but never crossed.

–     Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle or less from the elbow, with your wrists straight or slightly bent downward.

–     Your back should be comfortable, straight up and down. Do not rest your back on the back of your chair.

–     Your neck is straight, with your ears evenly between your shoulders. Your head should be held high and facing forward, not tilting forward or to either side. Your eyes should be looking forward or slightly down.

–     Your laptop or computer screen needs to be directly in front of you and as close to eye level as you can get, or just slightly lower.

Now that you’re in a good posture position, remember to relax.

When you are not writing, remember to remove your wrists from the machine and put them in your lap or relax them. At each break, be sure to get up, stretch and move around.

If you’re having trouble maintaining good posture when writing or at your desk, there are many great ergonomic products out there, including:

Pengad Wrist Rest

Obus Forme Orthopedic Low Back Backrest

Medic-Air Back Cushion

So, the next time you find your shoulders, neck and back aching from too much sitting, remember to stretch, check your posture, and move around any chance you get to maintain good health.

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