With all the emphasis on work related problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s important to make sure that you stay healthy with these ergonomic strategies.
- Phone. Using a headset keeps your hands free while your head remains in a upright, neutral position. Cradling the phone between your head and shoulders causes neck pain and neck muscle strain.
- Chair. Keep your chair low enough so that your knees are at 90-120 degree angle when sitting with your feet placed squarely on the floor or on a foot stool. Make sure that your chair is comfortable and has enough padding with some support for the lower back area. Whether your chair is on rollers or stationary, be sure to use proper body mechanics when getting up and sitting down. Try to limit crossing your legs as this causes an imbalance in your pelvis and spine. If you must cross your legs, try to alternate from one to the other or start crossing your legs at the ankles.
- Computer. Your computer screen should be at eye level so that your head and neck is at a neutral position. If you’re typing from a document, use a document holder and place it next to the monitor. This allows you to see the document clearly, while at the same time keeping your head and neck in a neutral position. Looking up or looking down for prolonged periods of time can cause neck pain and muscle strain, so try to keep things at eye level. Your keyboard should be placed so your wrists are kept in a neutral position while typing and your arms are resting comfortably on the desk or chair arms.
- Books, Binders, & Information. Keep any regularly used items within arm’s reach. This minimizes the need to constantly get up or kneel down to get that book back out. It addition to stressing your body, the constant up and down cuts into your work efficiency time and breaks your concentration.