6 Must Know Ergonomics Tips For Your Desk
Tips from the Prose – Ergonomics for your desk
Are you like many people – sit at a desk and work at a computer? Often times, the patients I see for neck and upper back pain have this kind of work environment and they complain that this seems to exacerbate their symptoms. There a few simple things you can assess at your work station to make sure you are not sitting in a position that is causing increased stresses and pain.
6 Must Know Tips
1. Your computer screen should be 18-24 inches from your face. Your eyes should be looking at the top half of the computer screen.
2. Your head should be in a position that your ears are lined up with your shoulders and your shoulders should be lined up with your hips.
3. Your arms should be comfortably by your sides, with your elbow bent about 90 degrees. If you have arms on your chair at work, make sure the arms aren’t too high, pushing your arms and shoulders up towards your ears. This can cause your upper traps to tighten up.
4. You should sit all the way back in your chair and your chair back should comfortably support your back. Sitting on the edge of your chair is called perching and is a really common position I see. The problem is that perching causes your back muscles and upper trap muscles to engage too much and the muscles get sore over a period of time. Sitting back in the chair allows the muscles to relax a bit and the chair to do the work.
5. Keyboard, mouse, phone or anything else you reach for should be within an easy reach, no straining to get to these and the keyboard and mouse should be at the same level, allowing the elbows to stay bent no more than 90 degrees.
6. Your feet should be on the floor with your hips and knees bent at 90 degrees. For those of you with shorter legs, to avoid the above mentioned perching to reach the floor, put something under your feet and bring the floor up to you.
Even in the best set up, you can still have some neck and upper back strain. Make sure you are sitting up straight, your head should not be sliding forward, try not to give into gravity and slouching or sliding down into your chair which rounds your shoulders forward. Think about trying to use your core and shoulder blade muscles a little bit to help support your body and maintain your posture.
Hope these few tips are helpful in reducing the strain to your body as you sit at your desk!