Being a chiropractor in West Hampstead, where many people with office based jobs live, I often get asked what is the best way to set your chair up, the best position for a keyboard and other questions about office ergonomics, hence the reason behind this blog.
Adjust your chair height, so your elbows are at a 90 degree angle to the desk and at the same time, your feet are flat on the ground. If your feet do not reach the ground ask if you can be provided with a foot rest. You should end up with your hips slightly higher than your knees.
Sit with your buttocks far back in your chair and use a lumbar support for your lower back. This maintains the natural curve in your low back, keeping your back at its strongest. Also, if at all possible, adjust the depth of your chair, so you can pass your fist between your calf and the front of your chair.
Your screen should be directly in front of you, rather than to the side of you. Also place the monitor about an arm’s length away and position the top of the computer screen so that it is approximately at eye level.
Use your keyboard with both your wrists and forearms straight and parallel to the floor. Keep your keyboard, mouse and other frequently used items within easy reach, so you don’t have to repeatedly stretch and twist to reach things. This minimises neck and shoulder strain, making you less prone to problems later on.
When reading, sit up straight and hold the document up, so you don’t have to bend over; or even better why not use an upright document holder?
The Cardinal Sins of Office posture
Remember to avoid these 3 bad habits in the office;
- Slumping forward or leaning on your desk. Instead keep your upper back straight and try to relax.
- Poking your chin forward when looking at a computer screen. This increases neck, upper back and shoulder tension. Instead sit straight and bring your head back.
- Holding the phone between your neck and shoulder. Instead use your hand to hold the phone, use a headset or if you can do so without annoying others or infringing confidentiality, why not use the speakerphone?
Last, but not least
Make sure that you get up and move around every half hour, or so, for a minute or two. Walk around and stretch a little; do something to alter your posture and reignite yourself again. Prevention is better than cure and observing the above may well help you reduce your chance of developing neck pain or back pain in the future. However, if you have already developed neck pain or back pain and it is not going away, then it may be time to see a chiropractor.
If you are in North London, North West London, and within travelling distance of West Hampstead, feel free to contact our chiropractor at West Hampstead Chiropractic Clinic, to see if we can help with your back pain or neck pain.
West Hampstead Chiropractic Clinic
Committed to helping people in North London and North West London
including West Hampstead, Hampstead, Belsize Park and Golders Green