“I’m always feeling uncomfortable after working at my desk? Could it be the way my desk is set up?”

“Dr. Smith,  I’m always feeling uncomfortable after working at my desk?  Could it be the way my desk is set up?”  ~Mike G.

We’ve all heard proper posture is important, but when is it most important? We spend much of our week in a work setting and for many of us, that means computer work. If we aren’t working with correct posture, there’s increased risk for repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel or chronic hand, low back, or shoulder pain. These injuries can keep even the most active of us down for periods of time. Try these tips for setting up your desk and computer workstation to prevent injuries that could keep you from being active.

When working at a desk:

1- Choose a desk that is the proper height.
2- Your feet should be touching the floor, with legs and body forming 90 to 110 degree angles.
3- Keep your body straight with the head and neck looking forward, not to the side or turned. Don’t slouch.
4- Adjust the height of your monitor so your eyes are at the same height as the top of the monitor. Leaning your head forward can lead to headaches and neck pain.
5- When typing, keep your wrists straight, your shoulders perpendicular to the floor, and forearms parallel to the floor.
6- When reading, use a bookstand to keep your eyes and neck in the same neutral position.
7- When talking on the phone, use a headset. Holding the phone between your shoulder and cheek can lead to neck pain and headaches.
8- Stand up and stretch your legs with a short walk every 30 minutes.
9- Take micro-breaks often, stretching your neck, arms and wrists, back, and legs.
10-If using a mouse, don’t move the mouse with just your wrist. Use your entire arm and shoulder. Don’t rest your arm on the edge of the desk either. Keep your wrist relaxed. Don’t hold it up or down; instead, hold it in a neutral (straight) position.  
Try these tips to help you maintain healthy posture. Prevent repetitive motion injuries that cause the pain that can keep you from staying fit. 

Yours in health,

Dr. Kristin Nuccio Smith, DC