Tips on Creating a Pain Free Workspace
Alright everybody, things are gettin' real. We've been working from home for over a year now and I know that your necks and backs are feeling it!
I talk a lot about ergonomics, I'll admit it. But that's because our repetitive motions are the root of a lot of our pain and tension. So let's fix that, shall we? Here are some tips on how to create a pain free workspace.
Screens, screens, screens
We have all been having a little more screen time that we'd like, my toddler can attest to that. Where we position our screens greatly effects our neck and shoulder tension. Your screen or monitor should be directly in front of your gaze at eye level. We don't want you to have to look down, up or to either side to see the screen. Neutrality is key when it comes to our positioning.
Arms and Wrists
If you're on a computer all day, you're most likely getting a lot of typing and clicking in. These movements can give us wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck pain, especially when done incorrectly. We want your elbows to be able to rest at a 90 degree position. This means that the arm rests on your chair should be supporting your elbows to rest by your side at 90 degrees. It also means that your desk and keyboard should be at a height that allows for this position without reaching. Because when we reach, we tighten up! (And not in the good way.)
Your wrists should also be neutral and straight. Can you see a pattern here? Neutral, straight or 90 degrees are the magical words.
Buh Bye Back Pain
Do you experience back pain from sitting for long periods of time? You aren't along. This is one of the most common issues that I see in my clients. We will want to support your lumbar spine with neutral support. (There's that magic word again!)
Many people buy lumbar support tools that are far too large and increase pain and discomfort. I recommend a mesh lumbar support device that is subtle in its curve. This will allow for your back to rest at neutral and help minimize discomfort.
Knees and Hips
In order to avoid pain in your back, the position of your knees and hips matter. It's important to have your hips at a 90 degree angle and your knees to be positioned anywhere from a 90 to 110 degree angle. If your chair is the wrong height, it will be difficult to maintain this position for your knees and is a sign that you should readjust or replace your chair.
Feet Matter Too
We typically tuck our feet back when we sit in a chair that's the wrong height for us, causing out backs to slump. This is one of the ways that foot positioning can actually cause back pain. Placing your feet flat on the ground or on a footstool is a sure fire way to help support the back with optimal positioning.
Are You in Pain While You Work?
Do you experience pain throughout the work day? If so, you're not alone. I offer ergonomic and corrective exercise resources. Reach out for support and schedule a free consultation here. This is a place for you to get tools and resources at no cost to you. You CAN be pain free. It just takes making the right steps to get there.