Workstation set up. Is your workstation working well for you? During Covid we have seen a lot of patients presenting with neck, upper back and arm pains. A lot of this could be related to poor desk set-ups and longer times spent in poor positions.
Try looking at the following pointers to see if they help lessen those aches and pains.
Lighting and temperature- is your lighting bright enough, without too much glare? Is your room heated sufficiently with enough air flow too?
Chair -Are your feet flat on the floor? Are your hips higher than your knees? This is how they should be. If they are not like this, adjust your desk, rather than your chair to accommodate. You may need a foot rest to assist. Is your back fully supported in the chair and is there a gap between the from of your seat and the back of your knee? If not, use cushions to support your back or change your chair. Do you have arm rests to allow your elbows and forearms to rest whilst you work? Are they at the correct height so that your arms are relaxed or are they more of a hindrance?
Desk- Your elbows should be about level with the desk top. A sit stand desk gives you more flexibility to change postures through the day and perform some of your work standing.
Monitor- This needs to be directly infront of you and at arms length. Make sure also to avoid glare from lights on the screen. The screen top should be at eyebrow level, so use books or a laptop stand if you need to adjust this.
Copy holders – If you refer to paperwork a lot during your day, it is worth investing in a copy holder to attach to the side of your monitor to avoid too much head down posturing.
Mouse and Keyboards-avoid over reaching for your mouse and keep the wrist straight when using your keyboard. Use wrist supports if needed to help this position. Rest your upper arms and elbows in to your body and bend the arm at 90 degrees, so the forearm is parallel with the desk and relaxed.
Headsets – use a headset to answer calls to avoid neck strain. Take breaks, move and vary posture – movement is key.
It is so important to remember that no matter how good your set up is, your best posture is your next one. Staying mobile, changing postures frequently and taking regular breaks is key to any working environment.
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