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Most people who work at a computer/desk job have experienced neck or back pain from time to time. Some people are fortunate enough that their company will invest in ergonomic experts and finance purchasing good chairs, standing desks, or elevating monitors… the rest of us mortals have to make do with what we have…many people equate that with “suffering through,” but it doesn’t have to.
Enter your friendly DPT!
There are some things that can be done to help you improve your ergonomics without investing in crazy expensive chairs or desks attached to treadmills. Check out my video and the info below for tips.
(working on the sound quality. Bear with me 🙏)
1) Position the monitor approximately 18-24 inches from your face. You can either move the monitor or the chair to achieve this effect. The center of the screen should be just below the level of the eyes when sitting up straight. You want your ear to be about in line with the point of your shoulder.
–If your monitor is too low, try putting it on either a stand or a couple of those books you haven’t opened in a while.
2) The Key board should be close enough that your arms can remain bent and you can ‘float ‘ your wrists while typing. You can accomplish this again by moving the keyboard or your sitting position.
— If you use a laptop at work try purchasing a separate USB plug-in keyboard. You can then put the screen of the laptop where you need it to be and move the keyboard around.
3) Shoulder position should be just slightly elevated so that the muscle that goes from your neck to your shoulder (trapezius) is relaxed. When your arms are out to type or on your armrests. If your arm rests don’t elevate, try rolling up a small towel and fixing them to the armrests you have. It may not look too pretty but at least it’s not a pain in the neck. (Pun intended 😂😂)
4) Sitting Position should be upright in your chair with the hips tucked under you. I explain in my video above how to find this position. After you find a good posture, then use a towel roll or a ‘lumbar roll’ to fill in the space between your back and the back of the chair.
5) Knee position relates to sitting posture above. You want the back of your knees to be about 2 inches from the front of the chair to make sure you don’t have pressure on the back of the knee. If your seat is too deep, try scooting forward and using a larger towel roll for step 4.
6) Feet should be flat on the floor when you have a 90 degree bend in the knee. If you find yourself unable to touch the floor try putting your feet on a stool or another large book. This helps keep the legs relaxed and the weight of the legs from pulling you forward in your chair.
To review, try sitting like this:
You may also like:
Stretches to fix YOUR posture. – correcting ‘forward head’Flexibility Training – Part 1 (why do I care?)
Nicole Mims. PT, DPT.