Ergonomics and Microbreaks

June 29th, 2013

If you’re reading this blog, the chances are pretty good that you’re sitting in front of a computer which means you could probably use a tip or two on HOW you should be sitting in front of the computer.

Proper ergonomics at your workstation can not only decrease your pain, but many studies have been done to show that it actually increases your productivity! Here are a few tips on how to set up your workstation for proper posture:

– Set your monitor to where the top edge is at eye level

– Sit about an arms length away from your monitor to prevent slumping.

– Keep your elbows close to your body with as close to an L-shaped bend in them as you can manage. 

-Try not to have your wrists bent at too much of an angle in either direction.

– Lock the seat back to encourage you to sit up straight and prevent reclining.

– Sit all the way back in the seat making sure that there is a small gap between the front edge of the seat and the backs of your knees. If there isn’t a gap, try adding a lumbar support to the back rest which should make it safe to move forward slightly in the seat without compromising your low back.

– Have the seat raised enough to where your hips are at an L-shaped angle with your spine or slightly below that.

– Keep your feet out from under the seat and flat on the floor. If your feet do not reach the floor then get something to prop them up.

I’ve given this diagram to a few of my patients, which can be helpful to keep near your workstation to remind you to be mindful of these things when working.

These are a lot more ways to optimize your workspace than the tips I am giving you, but they should be a great start. If you are more interested in going all out I would recommend getting a chair that was designed for extended periods of sitting in mind and perhaps looking into a convertible workstation that allows you to transition between sitting and standing positions throughout the day.

Of the chairs I have sat in, Herman-Miller seems to be the best all around. They are a little spendy, but when it comes to your health, it’s worth the investment. If you would like to get in touch with one of their representatives to look into options for your home or office workspace, please let me know and I would be happy to get you in touch with a friend of mine who works for the company.

If you are looking for more tips on how to get through the work day pain free, please also read this blog about microbreaks!