At Pivonka Chiropractic, Chiropractors in Gilbert, we see a lot of patients coming to us suffering from neck pain and upper back pain due to the stress of working at a desk starring at a computer all day every day. So here are some tips on proper desk ergonomics to assist you in getting through the day at your desk.
1. Check your posture
Sit close to your desk as possible and keep your upper arm parallel to your spine and your hands on your work station. Now see if your arms are 90 degrees and your legs are bent 90 degrees. If not adjust your chair to ensure that both your arms and legs are at bent to 90 degrees.
2. Don’t sit too high
A chair that is too high will increase pressure on the back of the leg and decrease circulation out of the leg resulting in your feet swelling. An average person experiences swelling of 6-8% but seated people may see swelling from 10-15%. A good seat height is 16-21 inches off the ground. If you can’t slide your fingers under your thigh at the front of the chair, then your seat may be too high.
3. Boost your feet
If you have to lift your feet off the ground because your chair or desk are too high then use a footstool to prop your feet on. This will help to prevent foot swelling and pain.
4. Raise your work surface
If your taller and you have more than a fingers width between your leg and the front of your chair then you may want to raise your desk. This will allow you to raise your chair and get the right angles to prevent postural fatigue.
5. Check the depth of your seat
If your seat is too deep then your calf muscles will contact the front of the seat. This can hinder circulation. If you sit all the way back in your chair and you can’t put your fist between your calf muscle and the edge of the chair then you need to move the seat back forward. This will also help with proper seated posture.
6. Support your back
Having a back on your chair that applies pressure to the lower back, keeping in slightly pushed forward, maintains the normal curve in the lower back. This curve helps to support proper posture and prevents fatigue. A good seat back should be about 12-19 inches wide.
7. Watch your posture
Sitting on the front of the chair and not using the support of the back rest will over time allow the postural muscles to fatigue producing slumped posture. This slumping will place undue stress on the discs of the lower back, which can result in back pain. Use your back rest its there for a reason.
8. Watch the height of your screen
When seated in your properly adjusted chair your eyes should be looking directly at the center of your screen and your screen should 19-24 inches away from your face. If you screen is too high or in most cases too low, this will put increased pressure on the neck and result in neck pain and upper back pain. Laptop computers are notorious for causing neck pain.
9. Adjust your arm rests
When your arms hang from your shoulders all day as you type you will slowly but surely develop upper back fatigue and shoulder pain. Make sure that your arms are lightly supported by the arm rests on your chair to ensure that your upper back muscles don’t fatigue.
These simple improvements to your office ergonomics can help to relieve some of the problems that working at a computer can cause. If you make these adjustments and you are still having problems than call Pivonka Chiropractic, Chiropractors in Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Queen Creek and Apache Junction and we will see if we can help. Call (480) 892-0022 today.
Dr. Andy Pivonka