5 ways to improve your workstation ergonomics.
At Blackburn Osteopathy we see many patients present with upper back, shoulder, and neck pain due to sitting at a desk for a large part of their day. Here are our 5 best tips for setting up your workstation to allow correct posture and minimise tension.
- Adjustable chairs
- Adjust the height of the chair so your feet are comfortably resting on the floor. Your hips should be about level with your knees.
- If once your feet are on the floor your desk is too high, a footrest can be used which allows the chair to be raised whilst keeping the correct hip angle.
- Adjust the backrest so the curve of the chair fits into the natural curve of your back. A slight backwards tilt will decrease the force on the lumbar spine.
- 2. Screen height
- Your screen needs to be approximately one arm’s length away when you are sitting in your usual position.
- The top of the screen should be at eye level.
- Your keyboard should be placed directly in front of you near the edge of the desk to avoid any twisting or reaching.
- When using the keyboard, forearms should be horizontal with elbows kept close to the body.
- Wrists should be kept straight in a neutral position. To help facilitate this, lower the rear feet of the keyboard where possible.
- Ergonomic equipment
- Wrist supports/rests: These can be useful to support the wrist and forearm during pauses in work, however they shouldn’t be used while typing as this can cause you to reach for the keys which may result in muscle or tendon strain.
- Headsets: If you need to use the phone frequently, a headset is recommended to avoid awkward neck positions and reaching which can occur with regular phone use.
- Movement (most importantly!)
- Getting up and moving around is essential in maintaining correct posture and reducing tension.
- Take regular short breaks every 30 minutes. This helps to maintain mobility, gives your eyes a rest, and gives muscles such as hip flexors the chance to stretch out.
- Anything which gets you up and moving such as getting a drink, walking down the hall, or doing some stretches is beneficial.