Use good desk ergonomics to avoid pain and reduce stress from Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Edison
In our last blog, we explained how we all deal with some amount of stress at work, but we can better manage it by moving around frequently and performing stretches right at our desks. These stretches are certain to make you feel more flexible and less cramped while sitting, but it’s also very important to use good desk ergonomics. Doing so will prevent pain and injuries, and help you feel even better with less stress during the day.
Ergonomics is defined as the design of equipment and devices that fit the human body’s abilities, and proper ergonomic design is essential in order to prevent repetitive strain injuries and other painful disorders. Issues like carpal tunnel syndrome and low back pain can develop over time as a result of ergonomic hazards, which can possibly lead to long-term disability. Fortunately, most of these hazards—especially those pertaining to posture—can be avoided or improved upon. Dealing with them will significantly reduce your risk of workplace injury, allowing you to focus on your work instead of being distracted by pain.
Below are the main components of a typical workstation. Try making these changes to increase your performance and lower your risk of suffering a common office injury:
- The height of the chair is critical: adjust it so that when your feet are flat on the floor, your knees are equal to or slightly below the chair’s height.
- Adjust the back of the chair to slightly greater than a 90° reclined angle, push your hips back as far as they can go in the chair, and change your posture regularly.
- Wrist posture should be kept neutral to reduce straining: adjust armrests so that your shoulders are relaxed and lower arms are supported.
- The monitor should be centered directly in front of you, above the keyboard, about 2-3 feet from your face, right at or slightly below eye level
- Position the keyboard directly in front of you and pull up close to it
- Adjust keyboard height so shoulders are relaxed, elbows are in a slightly bent position, and wrists and hands are straight; to reach the keyboard, forearms should be near parallel to work surface
- Place mouse as close to keyboard as possible to avoid overreaching
- Arrange other items like your phone and documents within arms reach
- Use a handset or speakerphone when on the phone to avoid neck or shoulder injury
- Keep your head and neck balanced and in line with the torso
- Move as frequently as possible to avoid staying in one place: it’s highly recommended to take 1-2 minute stretch breaks every 20-30 minutes and to change tasks or take longer (5-10 minute) breaks every hour
Most of these changes are simple but can have major implications in preventing a workplace injury and improving your overall mood on the job. It’s best to make these changes right away rather than waiting until you start noticing problems. To learn more about workplace ergonomics or for any aches or pains you might be experiencing, we can help. Call Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Edison, Union, Somerville and Woodbridge, NJ at 908-393-9877 to schedule an appointment.