Workstation Ergonomics

by Mike Marcin, PT
 
Many of us notice aches and pains when sitting at a desk for long periods.  These can be annoying at first, but can also turn into serious medical issues if not properly addressed. 
 
Keep in mind, we have many things on our desks, and it is helpful to consider the impact of having them in the wrong position:
 
  • Monitor – should be an arms length away to avoid slouching and gazing to see the screen
  • Keyboard – keep it close to you, are your elbows bent (preferred), or are they almost straight as you reach for the keyboard. 
  • Document stand – these are helpful to avoid looking down at papers on your desk on a regular basis.  A document stand can be put next to the monitor or attached directly to a monitor
  • Mouse – keep your mouse as close to you as possible, preferably right next to the keyboard
  • Gel pads – these are helpful to avoid pressure on the wrist which can lead to problems such as carpal tunnel.  Gel pads are helpful in front of both the keyboard and mouse.
  • Phone – do you tip your head to hold the phone?  Do you hold the phone next to your ear for long periods?  If so, consider a headset to reduce stress on the neck.
 Most importantly, try to get up and move every thirty minutes, stretch if you need to, and always sit up tall with good posture.