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Ergonomics (Office Pain & Injuries)

Are you experiencing back pain from sitting at your desk all day? The goal of office ergonomics is to tailor your work space for the work you perform on a daily basis in order to reduce the risk of injury and increase productivity.  Your work space should be evaluated from all aspects of your specific duties from head to toe.  

If your work environment is properly set up you have a much lower risk to develop headache pain, neck pain, back and hip pain, as well as bursitis in certain joints and carpal tunnel syndrome which affects the wrist and hand.  

  • Take periodic breaks between tasks by shifting positions, stretch your arms, cross your legs to lean forward or, if you are able to, get up and walk around to stretch.
  • Your desk should be at a comfortable height to fit your legs underneath. 
  • Try to keep your work items or tools close by so you don’t have to repetitively reach, twist or bend.  
  • If you work with a computer monitor it should be positioned so that you are not looking up, down, sideways or having to lean in forward.   Be sure the screen is less than an arm’s length away and is between eye level to 15 degrees below eye level.  This is a very important part that should be at the top of everyone’s list.  
  • Make sure the chair you use is supportive of the spine.  Having an adjustable chair is important so your feet are resting flat on the floor or have a pedestal for your feet to rest on to reduce pressure on the low back.  Set the arm rests at a comfortable level to reduce your arms from pulling down on your shoulders. 
  • While seated, you never want to be reaching or leaning forward.  This type of position will mean big changes.  Here’s an interesting fact: For every inch that the head comes forward, the spine feels like is has taken on an extra 10 pounds—bringing on some major strain for your muscles.  Picture your arm holding up a 10lb bowling ball.  Now bringing it forward 1 then 2 inches will drastically change the weight bearing structures and strain you back. 
  • Lastly, try to positon your body so that your elbows, hips, knees and ankles are flexed or bent to about 90 degrees.  This will reduce the strain and pressure going through your joints and stretch on your muscles and tendons.  
  • Evaluating your work space and even creating minor changes now can have a major impact on the outcome of the condition of your body on a long term scale.  Some of these changes may or will feel awkward and different at first but do your best to make these changes habit.  Try slowly incorporating these changes to get your body adjusted to a healthier posture.  Maybe make 1-2 adjustments per week until your work space is ergonomically sound.  In the end your body will thank you.

If you need to see a chiropractor in Jacksonville to treat your lower back pain from sitting all day, give us a call today!

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