How to Improve Your Ergonomics at Work

Neck pain, low back pain, carpal tunnel, and shoulder pain can all be caused by poor workstation ergonomics. Here are some tips for an ideal work station.

  1. If you are sitting most of the day, get up every half hour to walk and move your body for at least three minutes. You can set a timer on your computer or phone to remind you to move.


  1. If it is available at work, request a standing desk or a sit to stand desk.  It is very difficult to sit properly all day and we tend to slouch; rounding our low back and sitting behind our sitting bones. Sitting this way puts undo pressure on the discs, facet joints, and ligaments of the lumbar spine. Prolonged sitting over time in this position can lead to low back pain and damage to the discs, ligaments, and joints of the spine. If you are sitting often in your day, the best way to sit is right on your sitting bones so your lumbar spine has its natural curve. Getting up and moving your body every half hour will reduce the load on the lumbar spine as well.


  1. Monitor position: whether you are sitting or standing your monitor should be positioned so that you are looking at the top 2/3 of your screen. Your head should be right over your spine and your eyes straight forward not looking down. This will prevent forward head posture which can cause tension headaches and neck pain. Every inch that your head is forward of your body it adds ten pounds of pressure to the bottom of your cervical spine and the top of your thoracic spine. Over time, this will cause neck, upper back pain and shoulder tightness. The more you can keep your head over your spine in your day the less likely you are to have these issues. If you have a lap top computer you can put books underneath it to elevate it and get a separate key board so your head can maintain proper position.


  1. Forearm and wrist position: when typing your forearms should be slightly underneath your elbows and your wrists should be in a neutral position and not resting on anything. This will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are typing a lot in a day take time to stretch your wrists, fingers and forearms.


These are four simple ways you can improve your workstation and improve your health at the same time!


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