How should I set up my desk?

Over the course of the last two years, more and more people started working from home. It’s important to have a workspace that not only allows you to get your work done but to do it in a way that promotes good body mechanics. Poor body mechanics can lead to neck and back pain and increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Some things to consider, include chair height, computer/monitor placement, and body positioning.

First, your monitor should be positioned directly in front of you and about an arm’s length away. The top of your computer screen should be at eye level. Avoid positioning your screen in a way that requires you to turn your head to the left or right.

Second, a chair with lumbar support and armrests are helpful. Also, make sure that your knee height is level with your hips. A small step stool might need to be positioned under your feet to help maintain proper alignment if you are shorter in stature.

Third, be sure to pay attention to wrist positioning. Keep your wrists straight or in neutral alignment, and your hands should be at or below elbow level.

Additional workspace considerations include a headset if your job requires you to spend a lot of time on the phone. Also, avoid working from your couch or bed. It may be tempting because it seems like a comfortable space; however, those spaces make it difficult to maintain good mechanics. Lastly, keep the items you use most close to you. This will help you maintain proper body positioning.

I also recommend taking very short breaks throughout your day to stretch and move around. If you are having pain, come and see us at Advanced Care Specialists. We can help treat your pain and also teach you how to improve your work space and body mechanics to avoid future flare-ups of pain and discomfort.

Theresa Schwer PTA

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