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  • Writer's pictureBritni Maher

Does your back or neck hurt at the computer?

Poor workplace ergonomics and postural awareness are key contributing factors to neck pain, back pain and headaches. Improving your postural mechanics and ergonomics is important to your physical health, comfort, productivity and prevention of long term issues. Good posture can also contribute to improved self confidence and mental well being, as it often leads to a more alert and positive mindset.

Here are some recommendations to adjust your computer workstation for better posture and ergonomics:

1. Chair and Desk Height:

- Ensure your chair allows your feet to rest flat on the floor or on a footrest.

- Adjust the chair height so your thighs are parallel to the ground.

- Your desk should be at a height that allows your elbows to be close to your body at a 90-120 degree angle.

2. Monitor Position:

- Position your monitor at eye level, so you don't have to tilt your head up or down.

- The screen should be an arm's length away from your eyes.

3. Keyboard and Mouse:

- Keep your keyboard and mouse close enough so you can use them comfortably without reaching.

- Use keyboard shortcuts to reduce mouse usage.

4. Chair Support:

- Ensure your chair has good lumbar support to maintain the natural curve of your spine.

5. Wrist Support:

- Consider using a wrist rest or an ergonomic keyboard/mouse to support your wrists and reduce strain.

6. Frequent Breaks:

- Take short breaks every 30-60 minutes to stand up, stretch, and walk around.

7. Use Ergonomic Accessories:

- Consider ergonomic accessories like an adjustable monitor stand, an ergonomic chair and mouse, or a sit-stand desk.

8. Footrest:

- If your feet can't touch the ground, use a footrest to maintain proper posture.

Remember, the key is to customize your workstation to fit your body and preferences to minimize strain and discomfort while working. Regularly assess and adjust your setup as needed to maintain good posture and ergonomics. Here at RTC, our PTs can provide a thorough evaluation of your work station and offer specific recommendations to improve your ergonomics. Schedule your evaluation today to get started!

Contributed by Britni Maher, PT, DPT, MTC, CMTPT

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