For many of my patients the workday is in front of a monitor and at a keyboard. It is important to look at your workspace to make sure it is working for you and not against you. The amount of stress and pressure from an incorrect work environment can only lead to problems down the road. Please take a moment and look to see what you can do to help yourself.
Creating a Healthy & Ergonomically Correct Workspace
1. Adjust your chair height so that your feet are placed flat on the floor. If your chair or desk does not allow you to make the adjustment, place a footrest on the floor and then adjust your seat height. Your hips should be on the same level as your knees. Optimum incline in your seat is between 100 and 110 degrees.
2. Allow your elbows to form a 90-degree angle with your hands on your keyboard. Your forearms should be parallel to the ground and your wrists in a neutral position (in alignment with your arms). Your keyboard should be directly in front of you. Ergonomic split keyboards are beneficial for proper wrist alignment.
3. Do not rest your wrists on the mouse. An increase in the angle puts an extra strain on the wrist. Do not wear a watch while working the keyboard. It can restrict the tendons in your arm. A mouse pad can help support your wrist by keeping it in a neutral position.
4. Place your monitor at direct eye level about 20 inches away or your arms length. The larger your screen, the further away. The screen should be slightly tilted back at 10 to 20 degrees. If you wear bifocals, lower your monitor below eye level and turn the screen upward , tilting it back 30 to 40 degrees.
5. Your work area should be in a V from your body. So that any activity that you do with repetition is not putting a strain on your back, neck or shoulders.
6. Armrests are great to help you get in and out of your chair. Do not rest your arms on the armrests while mousing or typing. This can compress the tendons and may also compress the nerve (ulnar) that goes down the back of your arm.
7. Try to move around every 20 minutes or so. Even get up and walk around your desk. It changes the circulation gives you and your muscles a break.