By Sherman Mok, M.Sc., PT
Physiotherapy Pickering. For many of us, sitting behind a desk for hours at a time seems to be the norm nowadays. As a result, you might have been noticing neck and back pain or sore wrists and fingers. Proper office ergonomics such as proper chair height, computer and file placement, and good body posture can limit physical stress on the body.
Incorporating the following into your workplace set-up can help to prevent many of the repetitive stress injuries that can occur on the job.
1. If the nature of your job requires you to be on the phone frequently, consider a using a headset so you will not need to cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder. Constant cradling creates tension stress on the neck and shoulder which may lead to chronic muscle strain.
2. Your computer monitor should always be facing in front of you within reach of an arm’s length. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level to prevent excessive upward or downward tilting of the head.
3. For commonly used objects such as mouse, telephone, stapler, files and printed materials, keep them as close to the body as possible to avoid excessive stretching.
4. The keyboard and mouse should be placed on the same level surface and within easy reach. Elbows should be at 90 degrees beside the body supported by an armrest. The keyboard should not be tilted in order to keep the wrist straight in a neutral position.
5. The height of the chair should be at the level that your feet are firmly on the ground, and your thighs are rested parallel to the ground. Chairs should have a back rest that supports the curve of your spine.
6. Considering that all is optimal and your feet are hanging off the ground, look into the use of a foot rest in order for the feet to be flat on the ground.
7. Finally, there should be clear leg room underneath the desk, never have any clutter blocking the knees.
If you have questions or would like more information, please feel free to speak with our physiotherapist or chiropractor.