Ergonomics at your desk
If you are working from home (#wfh), you may be working from a very makeshift station: a kitchen table, a coffee table, or card table in a bedroom (if you have a designated spot at all). You probably set up this post by yourself. And you likely did not consult an OSHA agent on its long term ergonomics and the effects on your health and wellbeing.
Or perhaps you are working in an office and have a less-than-ideal arrangement of you computer, desk, and chair. Unfortunate ergonomics can happen anywhere.
Sitting still for hours may seem harmless or inconsequential. However, the body pays a toll eventually–especially in less-than-ideal postures.
For months now, we have been treating patients with symptoms of dysfunctional desk-bound postures. This includes:
- Neck pain
- Tight shoulders
- Aching back
If you are experiencing any of these, especially after you’ve been sitting for a sustained period of time, you may want to reevaluate your posture and setup for working.2
Posture can be medicine
While some postures and positions can put people at risk for these symptoms, other postures can be medicine.2,3 Below are postures that may promote pain and dysfunction, followed by those that promote health.
Have you ever looked like Dr. LoRang in these 3 pictures?
These positions may feel comfortable and easy in the beginning, but sitting like this can wreak havoc on the muscles of your spine.
Try these postures instead!
These positions allow the spine to be aligned, promote hip flexibility, and reduce the risk of developing muscle tightness and dysfunction.
Position changes are also key
No matter the ergonomics of your workstation, it’s important to try to move at least once an hour:
- Get up and move around
- Change positions
- Make small adjustments with your backrest
- Do some torso, arms, wrist, and/or finger stretching
- Take a short (or long!) walk
These activities promote good blood flow, flexibility, better brain power and better health. 1-3
The posture advantage
Here at Capital Chiropractic, we equip our patients to use posture to their advantage. We help promote joint centration while reducing muscle over-activity, tightness and all those uncomfortable symptoms of a less-than-ideal workstation.1-3 It’s important to us to set people up for greater success in their endeavors, including #wfh.
Not sure if your workstation is set up for optimal positioning? Unsure if your postures are promoting wellness? Make an appointment with Dr. LoRang or Dr. Schreyer via telehealth and we can evaluate your setup.
Be on the lookout for our next blog post with a checklist to use for your #wfh station for optimal positioning and set up!
- “Guide to Good Posture.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 Feb. 2020, medlineplus.gov/guidetogoodposture.html.
- “Maintaining Good Posture.” Posture, American Chiropractic Association, acatoday.org/content/posture-power-how-to-correct-your-body-alignment.
- “UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.” ETools | Computer Workstations ETool – Good Working Positions | Occupational Safety and Health Administration, www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/positions.html.
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