Navigating Ergonomics for a Pain-Free Workday

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Leaside Sports Medicine
People discussing charts at a workplace

It is no coincidence that as we spend more time typing at our computers and holding our phones, our hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders show greater signs of repetitive strain—not to mention the postural strain on our necks and upper backs! 

Tips on Creating a Healthy Workspace

Helping patients overcome various hand, wrist, and elbow injuries is a regular part of my day, but as the saying goes, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

You can avoid many problems by spending just a few moments making the right adjustments to your desk set-up:

Desk and Chair Height

Set them at the right height to maintain a neutral posture. This means sitting at your desk with your forearms parallel to the floor, ideally supported on an armrest or desk to minimize elbow, shoulder, and upper back strain.

Monitor Position

Keep the top one-third of the screen at eye level to prevent neck strain. 

Keyboard and Mouse

Wrists should be straight and level when typing. Using ergonomic mousepads or wrist rests helps maintain a straighter wrist position. 

Position the mouse to avoid reaching. 

Avoid pounding on the keys.

Finally, keep work materials within arms reach to avoid reaching.

Don’t slouch!

Keeping your chair close to your desk can help minimize slumping forward and encourage you to keep a proper posture.

Take Breaks

No posture is perfect for long periods. Stretch and move around every hour to relieve tension.

Pay attention to any signs of pain

Repetitive strain can also cause symptoms such as tightness, stiffness, loss of strength, numbness, or tingling. You may feel the urge to massage your shoulders, neck, wrists or arms. 

Chances are, our phones and computers will be integral to our lives for many years to come. This makes it even more important to safeguard our health so that we can continue using our devices comfortably. If you are unsure about your workspace ergonomics or are uncomfortable, don’t wait to seek professional help. Early intervention can prevent minor issues from becoming chronic problems. 

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