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Posted on 05-28-2015

Great video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLwIP8cBaWA

Over the years I have noticed that many people have pain/numbness in their arms, upper back, low back and neck due to sitting at their computer. Poor workstation ergonomics will cause repetitive stress thus resulting in pain and dysfunction. 

Some of the many pointers I give to my patients on a daily basis include addressing the key factors causing dysfunction. The factors include: keyboard height, monitor height, and seating position. Often I also recommend various products to help obtain the ideal workstation set up. 

Here is my cheat sheet to getting your workstation up to an A+ grade!

1. Keyboard Height: In a seated position (sitting up straight-like you always should be) the position of the keyboard should be at the height of your elbows or below, at about a 90 degree angle (I call this the T-Rex position. Your mouse should also be at this level. 

Mouse recommendation: http://amzn.to/1RrTH25

2.  Monitor Height: To avoid anterior head carriage (forward position of your head) causing neck and upper back misalignments, rounding of the shoulders and many other complications. I advise that the bottom of your monitor should be roughly at the level of your eyebrows, or slightly below your eyebrows. If you are using a laptop it is advised to purchase an external keyboard and use a riser or many books to lift your monitor to the proper height. 

Keyboard recommendation:http://amzn.to/1Fk9IiU

Riser recommendation:http://amzn.to/1cmDWtd

For best positioning make sure that your monitor is directly in front of you and your body/neck are not turned to look at the monitor. The monitor should be 20-40 inches in front of you so that you can comfortably see all the words on the screen.

3. Sitting Position: Attempt to maintain flat feet on the floor- if you are vertically challenged like I am, using a foot rest is advised. Create as much contact between your body and the chair by sitting back in the chair and maintaining contact with your shoulders against the back of the chair. The back of your upper legs should completely contact the base of the chair.

Foot rest recommendation:http://amzn.to/1cmDF9N

Chair recommendation:http://amzn.to/1HVWUCr

The load on your low back is significantly higher when sitting verses when standing therefore, if possible a standing desk is a great option. 

Standing desk recommendation:http://amzn.to/1ABort5

Anti-fatigue mat recommendation:http://amzn.to/1HVXcJF

If a standing desk is not an option at your work place limit sitting to no more than 30 minutes at a time, then get up for a few minutes and return to sitting. There are some applications on your phone that you can download that will give your reminders or if you answer the phone at your workplace, every time you answer the phone, take the call standing.  

Disclaimer: If you answer the phone for work, I advise using a headset to avoid tilting your head. 

Headset recommendation: http://amzn.to/1SFKLaF

Hope these pointers help! If you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 312-928-9282 or email [email protected]

All our best,

Dr. Jodi Kirsch and The West Loop Spine & Stability team

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