Read the Ergonomics Overview first.

The body's centre position is the basic position to which the musician always returns. In the centre position, the spine maintains its natural curves. Spinal curves vary between individuals; in the centre position, the backs and hips of different people may look different.

Pianists should first examine the position of their pelvis. Bring the pelvis into the centre position, with the ischia pointing directly down towards the seat.

The pelvis tilts back, the spine is curved, the shoulder blades tilt forward with the rib cage.

The pelvis and the spine are in the centre position; the shoulder blades are in a vertical position against the rib cage.

The seat should be adjusted to a height where the pianist can maintain the centre position effortlessly. Stiffer individuals should sit higher than more flexible people. The seat height also depends on the height of the piano and the keyboard. The piano height should be such that the elbow joints are at a 90-110 degree angle and the wrist can be extended 15 degrees. If the forearm and the wrist bend because the piano is too low, the piano should be raised (at least at the pianist's home), or the pianist should frequently stretch his or her hip and pelvic area so that he or she is able to sit on a lower seat in the correct position. The piano stool should be placed at a distance from the keyboard where the elbows are clearly in front of the torso.

When the pelvis and the lumbar spine are in the centre position, the pianist has optimal control of the spinal centre position. Overextending the thoracic spine is relatively common among pianists. This is commonly caused by tilting the pelvis and the lumbar spine backwards and/or poor control of the shoulder blade support muscles. The condition may also be hereditary, although this is the least common cause. The muscles that support the shoulder blades are very important, as pianists must keep their arms raised constantly. If the shoulder blades have insufficient muscular support, the shoulder blade rotates to the side and tilts forward (preventing the natural rotation of the shoulder blade); it can also start winging off of the rib cage.

The shoulder blades are poorly supported against the rib cage, and consequently they wing off of the rib cage, tilt forward and the bottom corner of the shoulder blade rotates (wrongly) toward the spine, especially on the right-hand side.

Shoulder blades are correctly supported against the rib cage.

A faulty position of the shoulder blade increases strain in the neck and shoulder region and reduces the superior thoracic outlet area aperture (the area between the collarbone, shoulder bone and the spine, where the nerves and veins run to the hand), increasing strain in the forearm muscles. Forearm problems are the most common ailment among pianists, and strains are most often caused by insufficient control of the hand and/or the entire limb.

The basic position of the wrist is 15 degrees extended and 15 degrees tilted towards the little finger. This ensures that the wrist remains flexible during playing. The position facilitates muscular action in the palm, which helps to maintain the traverse arches of the hand. Pianists' wrist and forearm ailments are often related to insufficient control of the muscles that support the wrist and the hand, and overexertion of the muscles that move the fingers and extend over the wrist.

The wrist is flexed and twisted toward the thumb. Fingers 1, 4 and 5 have loose base joints, and the traverse arch is lost during playing.

The wrist is in the centre position and the traverse arch is maintained by the knuckles; this provides support for the base joints and facilitates free movement of the fingers.

In order to correct the wrist and hand position, the musician needs exercises that improve the muscular balance of the hands.