Ergonomics are so important to optimizing how well your body feels during and after your workday. Because of this, people work at computers in a variety of settings including sitting desks, standing desks, lap tops or multiple screens. Regardless of your situation, there are some head-to-toe tips for setting up your work station:
- Your head should be stacked on top of your shoulders, looking straight ahead.
- The top of your screen should be at, or just below, eye level. You may need to prop the computer on books to get the right height. If you use a laptop, you may need to have a wireless keyboard and mouse in order to have the screen at the right height without negatively affecting your shoulders and arms.
- Your shoulders should be relaxed, not pulled up toward your ears.
- Your forearms should be level and supported by the arm rests of your chair.
- Your wrists should be positioned neutrally.
- Your spine should be fully supported against the back of the chair. If the chair is too deep you may need a support or pad behind you to take up the extra space.
- Your thighs should be parallel to the ground.
- Your feet should be flat on the ground, if this is not possible you should prop them on a stool.
Beyond your seating, consider these ideas
Other ideas to help make the most of the time at your desk:
- A sit-to-stand desk allows you to change your position throughout the day.
- Sitting on an exercise/swiss ball can help to actively engage your core.
- Setting a timer will help remind you to get up and move every 20-30 minutes will help keep your spine feeling good.
- If you have 2 monitors, make sure to place the main one directly in front of you to avoid neck pain.
Still struggling? Have questions?
Your physical therapist may be able to offer additional insight, based on your personal situation and needs. He/she should:
- Evaluate posture.
- Assess flexibility and range of motion.
- Assess muscle strength of postural muscles.
- Strengthen and increase mobility in involved muscle groups.
- Loosen muscles via manual work.
- Recommend changes to fit your body and equipment.