Too often do we see people coming into the clinic complaining of back, neck and shoulder pain while sat at a desk. The majority of people within London, have a desk based job, sitting for more than six hours a day, with many of them commuting on a train for another hour each way.
This can put a huge strain on our body and is often associated with adaptations to posture and poor movement patterns.
Having an optimal desk set up is so important and can help prevent repetitive strain injuries occurring. This can be addressed by having an ergonomic assessment carried out. Your current desk set up will be assessed and appropriate advice will be given on the best set up and equipment which may be beneficial. Until then, here are a few tips which can help you to build the most optimal working environment, to reduce discomfort experienced while sat at your desk and engage optimal movement patterns.
- Desk height – ideally you should be able to use your key board with your arms and hands parallel to the floor and both your feet flat on the floor. This can be done by adjusting the height of your chair or desk if possible. If not, you might be able to get a keyboard tray to raise it up. A standing desk is a great alternative, especially ones which can be adjusted from sitting to standing.
- The chair – things to consider include a lower back support which follows the natural curve of your lower back and making sure you’re able to sit with both your feel flat on the floor. Also, using an arm rest when available, allowing you to rest both your elbows onto, so that your shoulders aren’t hunched up and your arms are parallel to the floor.
- Screen positioning – your screen shoulder be between 20 to 40 inches directly infant of you and eye level, so that your neck is a neutral position. If your position is positioned lower or you are working on a laptop, you head will be tiled down, putting a huge strain on the muscle of your neck.
- Keyboard – this shoulder be placed close enough towards you, so that you are able to rest your elbows comfortably on the arm rest of your chair. This will allow you to maintain a position while sat at your desk, that requires little energy to maintain, preventing any future strains developing.
If you haven’t got access to a desk assessment ask your colleague to take a photo of you side on, send it into us via email and we will give you tips and instructions on what you can improve without spending money!
Along side an appropriate desk set up, remaining active throughout the day and taking regular breaks to move and stretch will help hugely. Also, being aware of your posture while sat at your desk is important, rolling your shoulder back and down, sitting upright and tall, with both feet flat on the floor.