An Eastbourne Chiropractors advise on Desk Posture.
Here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne I get asked by many patients about their desk posture, best ways to setup their desk at their office. Below are a few tips and considerations for your day to day life that could make a lot of difference.
If you are suffering from upper, middle or lower back pain your chiropractor should consider what repetitive actions you are completing on a day to day basis, and how this can affect your posture and ultimately your recovery.
These days we have an increasing amount of people working long hours in office “desk jobs” where they are sitting in unhealthy body positions, creating more tension and load on their spine. Sitting for longer than 20 minutes has negative effects on your body, including an increase in back and neck problems
In this blog we will look at the common problems associated with these postures and how they can be changed to reduce the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
Desk Height/Seat height
Firstly, is the desk height correct? The screen should be at eye level ensuring that your neck spine can remain in neural and not flexed forward. The pictures below show a posture adapting to a screen height which is too low. Implications of this would result in a rounded posture with tension in the neck and shoulders. This posture is also putting pressure through the low back due to the forward flexed position.
Depending on the chairs support an additional lumbar support can be used to encourage correct spinal positioning.
To set seat height the seat should be raised up to a level where your legs are at a 20-30-degree decline. Your feet should be able to touch the ground and lumbar support should be used to encourage low back positioning. With a chair that is too low can put excess pressure on low back.
Adjustable height desk
Another option that can help with posture in an office environment is an adjustable height desk.
An adjustable desk can reduce upper back and neck pain by up to 54%. Contrary to popular belief it has been shown that standing at work does not seem to impair reading or a person’s ability to generate creative ideas. So, it should not interrupt your work at all.
Sitting head and neck posture
You should try to ensure that your neck back to the neutral position whilst looking straight ahead. If you have been suffering from a bad posture for many years this step can be rather difficult to achieve. Completing deep neck flexor exercises can help achieve this optimal positioning.
Keyboard and Mouse
Your mouse should be placed as close as possible ensuring that you are not overstretching and having to active the muscles of your shoulders to use it. The further away a mouse is, the more muscles are required to create movement and sustain your arm in that position. This can leave you open to repetitive stress injuries, such as tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome. The movement should be small coming from just the wrist and hand.
A keyboard should be within reach so that your arms can remain at your side with arms bent to around 90” with your hands and wrists in line with the rest of your arm. Depending on preference the raisers on the back of the keyboard can be used to take pressure off the wrist and further keyboard support or “wrist rests” such the one below can be used to help alleviate pressure on the wrist and avoid repetitive strain injuries.
In jobs that require a significant amount of time on the phone headsets should be used. This should ensure that your muscles in your arm are not being overused in cradling the phone between shoulder and ear.
Thank you for reading,
James Revell DC, LCC, MSc(Chiro), BSc(Chiro), BSc(Biol)
If you have found this article helpful check out our other “Posture” blogs below:
By James Revell
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