Here’s How To Make Your Desk More Ergonomic (Tips From A Chiropractor)

Here's How To Make Your Desk More Ergonomic (Tips From A Chiropractor)

Whether you’ve always worked from home if you’re working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to make sure your workstation is set up in an ergonomic way. The way you sit and work at your desk during the day can cause a myriad of back, neck, and spine problems if you’re not sitting correctly. You’re in the right place if you’re wondering how to make your desk more ergonomic because we’re going through some simple things you can do to make your desk more ergonomic and prevent issues caused by sitting at a desk with forward head posture.

Correct posture helps us keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that can result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain. It also reduces the stress put on the ligaments that hold our spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury. You can combine correct posture with ergonomics to create a desk to work from at home that protects your spinal health instead of hindering it.

Correct posture can also help to prevent muscle strain, back and muscle pain, and overuse injuries and disorders. In addition to all of these benefits, correct posture improves circulation and digestion. When you have incorrect posture, you compress your gastrointestinal system and this can produce bad posture side effects like acid reflux and constipation.

Our posture is often neglected but it does a lot for us. Many of us spend our days sitting at desks that aren’t ergonomic, sitting in our cars, and looking down at laptops and phones which can train our muscles to move into a forward head posture without us realizing it. The forward head posture consists of hunched shoulders, a forward-jutting chin, and an upward tilted head. This posture is extremely common and bad posture side effects include neck, shoulder, and back pain in many of our patients.

How To Make Your Desk More Ergonomic

Your Desk Chair

Let’s start your ergonomic makeover with your desk chair. You should adjust the back of your chair for better lumbar support and if your chair is not adjustable, you can use a back support cushion or a rolled-up towel for additional support. The back of your chair should be adjusted slightly backward to 95-125 degrees to reduce strain on your spine and ligaments. If you have armrests, make sure they’re out of your way while you’re using your computer to allow for a neutral arm position.

Chair height is something most people don’t think about when it comes to creating an ergonomic desk but your chair should allow you to rest your feet flat on the floor. If your feet are dangling or you can’t comfortable rest your feet flat on the floor, your chair height needs to be adjusted. Make sure that you adjust your monitor and keyboard so you can comfortably sit at this level. If that’s not possible, you can purchase an elevated footrest to reduce strain on your neck and back muscles when you’re seated higher up.

Your Computer Monitor

The way you position your computer monitor on your desk has a substantial impact on your neck, shoulders, and back. Position your monitor so the top inch of the screen is level with your eyes. If you tend to lean back while working, adjust the monitor lower to accommodate your typical seated position.

Your computer monitor should be at a 90-degree angle to your line of vision. If you find yourself squinting or leaning forward to see the screen, move it closer to you. When you position your monitor properly you’ll be able to avoid eye strain. When seated comfortably, you should be able to see the screen clearly without needing to squint or lean forward. If you lean forward in your chair, you may experience back and neck pain. 

Keep your monitor and keyboard centered in front of you, not off to an angle. Your nose and belly button should be straight in line with the center of the space bar and your screen. 

Your Keyboard & Mouse

When using a keyboard or mouse, your wrists should be flat and straight in relation to your forearms. If your wrist is deviating to the left or right and your middle finger is not in line with the bones of your forearm as you type, you may need a different keyboard. You should al o have a soft palm-rest to level out the angle of your wrists while typing.

Your arms and elbows should hang relaxed and close to your body while working at an ergonomic desk. Your elbows should be bent at about a 90-degree angle while using your keyboard or mouse. Keep your mouse close to your keyboard but be aware that if it is on the right side, you might have an excessive external rotation at the elbow or shoulder. To reduce this stress on the elbow and shoulder, consider moving your mouse to the left of your keyboard and using your left hand. Alternatively, you could find a way to move the mouse closer to the space bar while continuing to use it on the right-hand side of your desk to compensate for the number pad on the keyboard.

You can also use a downward tilted keyboard tray and an adjustable mouse platform to reduce the wrist angles and stress on your elbow and shoulder. If you have a keyboard with feet at the back you can lower those to remove upward tilting. If you have a laptop you may want to invest in an external keyboard so you can better control your keyboard and screen positioning.

Taking a few simple steps to create an ergonomic desk while working from home can help prevent you from developing issues like Dowager’s Hump, spinal degeneration, and pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR NEWSLETTER, SUBSCRIBE BELOW

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

OFFICE HOURS


Monday
7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 5:00pm


Tuesday
7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 5:00pm


Wednesday
7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 5:00pm


Thursday
7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 5:00pm


Friday
Closed


Saturday
Closed

Kalkstein Chiropractic
200 East Joppa Road #300
Towson, MD 21286
(410) 296-7700