The link above is another great article that I found from the American Physical Therapy Association about work place ergonomics. This article is mostly looking at ergonomics in a office setting. As we have become a technological society, we are spending more and more time sitting either in front of a computer or at a desk. There are repercussions from all of this sitting. Therefore it is extremely important you’re your desk is set-up specifically for the individual.
The linked article has layed out several great points that I will summarize for you.
1: Your chair should have the following features: wheels, a swiveling base, adjustable arms/seat and good lumbar support. The point that I would add is that you have to sit correctly in your chair. This means that your feet should be uncrossed and flat on the floor and your entire back should be touching the back of the seat.
2: Your keyboard should be at a height where you can reach it without bending your elbow past 90 degrees or shrugging. The same applies to the location of your mouse.
3: Your computer monitor should be setup so that the top 1/3 of the screen is eye level and a distance where you can see it without squinting. One of the most common reasons I see in the clinic for both headaches and neck pain is a forward head postures compensating for visual problems.
4: The article introduces the idea of micro-breaks throughout the day. I advise all the office workers that I treat to do this. For every hour that you sit, it is important to stand for a couple minutes. Most people can occasionally stand at their work station without losing any productivity.
Again this is a very informative webpage and the videos are quite helpful. However, the advice and exercises are generic suggestions. Some people need much more specific advice either because a specific medical problem or a unique situation. Additionally, I would suggest that you seek medical attention if you are experiencing either numbness/tingling or if your problems are persisting after ergonomic adjustments and exercise.
At Siskiyou Physical Therapy we strive to keep workers healthy and address ergonomic issues before they become too serious. Often a few simple but specific activities can drastically reduce your workplace discomfort and improve your pain levels.
Now I’m off for a little micro-break and some stretching.
Jon Hill, DPT, Licensed Physical Therapist with Siskiyou Physical Therapy
If you like this post or have a question. Comment below.