Before sitting at your desk to start work for the week make sure it is set up correctly! I cannot stress how important this is for your health and prevent tension and stress building in your muscles!
I often get asked what type of people I see the most or the most common injury I see. And it’s office workers! Mostly all with tight neck/ shoulders/ back from sitting at a desk all day, and often at a desk which is not correctly set up! This is the number one thing you can do to stop any pain! Not only does it cause musculoskeletal issues but research has shown that sitting for long periods of time can increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It also constricts nerves, causes back pain and compresses abdominal organs leading to poor digestion.
So how do you set up your desk correctly?
- Keep your feet flat on the floor or a footrest.
- Do not cross your legs, knees or ankles.
- Keep a small space between your knees and the seat of the chair.
- Your knees should be at the same height as your hips or slightly lower.
- Ankles should be in front of your knees.
- Relax your shoulders.
- Don’t slump over
- Knees and forearms should be parallel to the floor.
- Elbows should be at your sides.
- Sit up straight and do not slump to one side.
- Look forward not down to prevent neck pain or strain.
- Top of the monitor screen should be at eye level. Use a monitor stand if needed.
- Monitor should be an arm’s length away.
- Your back should rest against the back of your chair or a backrest.
- Take a 10 minute break every hour and get up and move.
- Position your keyboard 4-6 inches away from the edge of your desk so your wrists have a place to rest.
- Use an ergonomic mouse and mousepad to prevent wrist strain.
- Keep frequently used items, such as pens and your stapler, close by so you don’t have to stretch or turn to get them.
- Use a hands-free headset if you are on the phone a lot.
- Use a document stand, so you don’t have to look down and strain your neck.
- Your forearms should be at a 90-degree angle from your upper arms. Having your keyboard too high or too low can cause elbow and shoulder pain.
By investing in ergonomic products such as a chair, mouse, mouse pad, monitor stand or even a stand up desk can help you on your way to improving your posture.