For those of you who work in an office and spend the majority of your work day sitting at a desk I thought it would be good to share some tips to avoid aches, pain and injury. It is because of repetitive activities and lack of mobility that these things can occur – but there are things you can do as preventative measures.
The following things can be a result of sitting at a desk and using a keyboard day-to-day.
• Poor circulation to joints and muscles,
• Imbalance in strength and flexibility of certain muscles
• Muscle strain
The above issues can be avoided by taking frequent short breaks throughout your workday. Use this time to get up and walking to the kitchen to get a coffee, or do a lap around the office – basically the idea is to get out of your chair several times a day and move around—even if it’s just for 30 seconds
You can also do the following things while sitting at your desk:
• Roll your shoulders backwards
• Turn your head side to side
• Stretch out your forearms and your legs
Additionally, I want to share with you some specific guidelines that will help maximize comfort at your workstation.
Your chair should have the following:
• Adjustable height
• Adjustable arm rests
• Lumbar support
Proper keyboard position and use:
• Your keyboard should be at a height that allows you to have your elbows at slightly more than a 90-degree angle.
• You should be able to slide your knees under the keyboard tray.
• Try to avoid reaching for the keyboard by extending your arms or raising your shoulders.
• Avoid having the keyboard on top of your desk – it’s too high for almost everyone. Use the elbow angle (indicated above) to text the keyboard position.
Proper monitor positioning:
• Your monitor should sit directly in front of you.
• The top of the monitor should be at eye level, and at a distance where you can see it clearly.
• If you need glasses for reading, you should get a second pair for use at your computer so you don’t have to tip your head backward to see through bi-focals.
Can a physical therapist help?
Yes!! Believe it or not many physical therapists are experts at modifying workstations to increase efficiency and prevent or relieve pain. If you are currently experiencing pain while working you should consider contacting a physical therapist immediately, before you become injured. On top of that if you still experience pain after your work station is modified you should see a physical therapist, so that they can develop a treatment plan with you to relieve your pain and improve your mobility.
If you have any more questions – or would like to have one of our therapists help with your workstation – please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. You can contact us through this form, or give us a call at 201-585-7300.