How to sit at work to minimize neck pain, back pain, and muscle knots. Ergonomic workstation setup presented by a doctor of physical therapy to put your individual body type in the best position possible while sitting at a desk.
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DAILY 10-MINUTE POSTURE ROUTINE:
HOW TO FIX YOUR UPPER BACK AND NECK POSTURE:
HOW TO FIX YOUR LOWER BACK POSTURE:
HOW TO ELIMINATE MUSCLE KNOTS IN YOUR NECK AND SHOULDERS:
PRODUCTS MENTIONED IN THIS VIDEO:
LAPTOP STAND: OR
Spending long amounts of time seated at a desk with poor posture can lead to back and neck pain, headaches, and even a lack of productivity.
In order to to avoid tension and pain and maximize your efforts, it’s crucial that you set up your workspace correctly.
Presented in this video (and outlined below) are four simple steps to set up your workstation the right way so you can avoid pain later on.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR WORKSTATION
0:00 WHY ERGONOMICS ARE IMPORTANT
1:09 ADJUST CHAIR HEIGHT
1:45 90/90/90 POSITIONING
3:15 ADJUST MONITOR HEIGHT
4:27 DUAL MONITOR SETUP
5:40 KEYBOARD AND MOUSE
6:42 TAKE BREAKS
STEP ONE: (1:09) Adjust your chair height so your desk surface is elbow-height.
The biggest problem I encounter is that the desk height is too tall or the chair height too short. This increases tension in your neck and upper shoulders as your shoulders have to stay elevated (up towards your ears) for hours on end.
Step one is to adjust your seat height so that your work surface is the same height as your elbows.
STEP TWO (1:45) : Hips, knees, and ankles in a position of 90/90/90
We want a 90-100 degree bend in our hips and a 90 degree bend in our knees and ankles. Your back should be up against the backrest and your fee flat on the floor. This will minimize strain in your lower back as well as evenly distribute your weight throughout your hamstrings.
If you’re “vertically challenged” you may need a footstool, books, or reams of paper to achieve the 90-degree bend in your knees and ankles.
STEP THREE (3:15) : Adjust your monitor(s) to the correct distance and height.
We want the monitor to be the correct distance away from our eyes to avoid eye strain and craning forward at our neck/upper back. A general rule of thumb for most people is one arm’s length.
You want the top of the monitor to be eye level. This can be easily achieved with an adjustable monitor, or if necessary, a couple of reams of paper.
*A word about dual monitors (4:27) : If you work from multiple monitors you want to setup your primary monitor directly in front of you with the secondary monitor to the side.
If you spend equal time on both monitors, set them up side-by-side and sit directly in the middle of them.
(5:02) If you primarily work from a laptop – use a laptop stand or “kickstand” and an external/bluetooth keyboard/mouse to stay in good posture. You can see my favorite stand and keyboard at the links found above.
Having your monitor at the wrong height can lead to tension headaches. If you get these, this video can help you out:
HOW TO ELIMINATE TENSION HEADACHE PAIN:
STEP FOUR (5:40): Adjust your keyboard and mouse to maintain a 90-degree bend in your elbows.
All this setup means nothing if you can’t actually maintain this position while you work! Moving your keyboard and mouse closer to you and maintaining your elbow angle at 90 degrees will help keep you in this good posture that we’ve established.
*BONUS* STEP FIVE (6:42): Take breaks.
One of the best ways to minimize pain and discomfort while at work is to take regular breaks from your desk posture. I recommend that people stand up and stretch/walk around for about 30-60 seconds every 30-60 minutes. This will help you avoid the fatigue and stiffness that often comes from staying seated in one position for too long.
There you have them! Four simple steps (and one bonus tip) to help you set up your ideal workspace!
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