It seems like most modern Americans spend the vast majority of their work weeks sitting at a desk, in front of a computer. As a result, we often see patients in our office that complain of headaches, neck pain, and lower back pain that we can usually trace directly to their at-work posture. In order to help alleviate these pains and to make sure that these issues don’t return, here are some important things to remember when sitting at work.
First, we want to make sure that you have your weight evenly distributed when sitting. This means that you shouldn’t be leaning to one side or the other, that your legs shouldn’t be crossed, and that you shouldn’t be sitting with one of your legs tucked underneath you.
If you have a chair that you can move up or down, raise your chair so that your hips are higher than your knees. This helps relax your lower back. Also, your feet should be placed flat on the ground, if your feet don’t reach the ground, use a box to rest your feet on.
Next, you need to make sure that your monitor is set up properly. Most importantly, your monitor should be placed directly in front of you, and not off to one side. The top of your monitor should also be at eye level, that way you don’t have to look up or down when at the computer.
If you are forced to look at a monitor that is offset, this will eventually lead to neck issues. If you use multiple monitors, you have two options. If you use one monitor more than the other, set yourself up to the one you use the most, and then use your chair to move back and forth when you need to switch monitors. If you use both monitors evenly, I recommend that you set up your desk so that you are directly between the two monitors, that way you can easily glance from one to the other.
I also recommend that you take mini breaks while at work. Our bodies are not meant to be stuck in one position for long periods of time. At least once an hour, take a minute to stand up, move around a bit and do some quick stretching. This is important to keep your joints moving and to improve blood flow and circulation.
These small changes to your work station, in addition to regular chiropractic care, can get you out of pain, and keep your feeling great. If you have any other questions about posture at work, feel free to leave them below and we will be sure to answer them.