As our society advances, jobs continue to become more sedentary in which people are spending most of their workday using a computer while sitting at a desk.  This trend has seemed to increase the incidence of low back and neck pain like never before seen.  Is part of the problem due to our physical de-conditioning? Absolutely.  However, another significant cause is improper workstation ergonomics.  This refers to factors such as seat height, positioning of the computer screen, distance we have to reach when typing, etc.  These factors are important because improper positioning can cause postural related syndromes that directly lead to neck and low back pain.  So if you work at a desk for long periods throughout each day, try some of these simple changes to relieve neck and low back pain.

Steps To Take To Avoid Low Back  Avoid Low Back and Neck Pain on the Job

Check the height of your chair.  If it is adjustable, proper positioning includes being able to comfortably rest both feet flat on the floor.  Your thighs should be roughly parallel with the floor or even slightly downward.  If using a computer, allow your shoulders to relax and bend your arm at the elbow.  The elbow should rest comfortably on the armrests of the chair.  From that position, you should be able to rest your forearms on the desk comfortably.  This is where you should place your keyboard and mouse so that you do not have to vary from that position to type or use the mouse.

Check the front edge of the chair.  Your thighs should extend slightly past the edge of the chair and not be pressed directly against it.  This prevents certain nerves, veins, and arteries in the legs from constantly being compressed which could lead to sensation changes in the lower extremities.

Position of the computer screen.  Ideally, you want the computer screen placed directly in front of you and not off to either side.  This will help prevent overstimulating and straining various muscles of the neck, shoulders, and upper back.  Also, if possible, the screen should be placed in such a way that your eyes gaze downward at approximately a 15 degree angle.  Research has shown that this is the natural sight line for our eyes and prevents constant eye strain.  If you absolutely have to place your screen to the left or right, try and arrange your body so that you are completely turned that way and not just turning your head in either direction.  Also, consider changing the side it is located at from time to time in order to avoid overworking the neck musculature on the same side constantly.

Proper Lighting.  Natural light is best to prevent eye strain and to help avoid headaches.  If possible, arrange to have your desk located near a window where you can have access to the natural light during the daytime hours.  Avoid placing lamps or bright lighting near your line of sight.  This can cause severe eye strain leading to headaches.

 source; Valley Chiropractic

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