If you are someone who spends time at any type of desk, whether it be working from home on a dining table, or in a proper office set up at home, or if you’re in a professional set up in a commercial building and you work in an office building where you are sitting down to do your work, then this post is for you.
See, what happens is a lot people think that because they are sitting down that they are at less risk of any injury. But what I have found is that a lot of people don’t sit correctly at their desks. Sitting for 8-10 hours at a time or collectively throughout the whole day is a lot of time to not be doing something correctly, amounting to a lot of degeneration.
- Screen height
Some common problems I see at AVID Clinic are for example not having the screen height correct.
What we want to do is have half of the screen at eye level. This means that you are not looking down or up too much, reducing neck strain.
By looking down too much for a sustained period of time compresses the discs in your neck, which can increase its chances of bulging and pressing on nerves.
- Arm rests
Everyone humerus is different lengths. Ensure your shoulders are relaxed so that your elbow is a natural position and that’s the height of your arm rest. The arm rest should just be able to tuck underneath your desk or table to allow your wrist a comfortable natural position when typing or writing.
- Touch typing
Recently someone saw me typing thought I had had lessons. Actually I taught myself to touch type by spending hours on MSN Messenger with my friends (most of you probably won’t even know what that is!). Learning to touch type helps prevent neck strain in a similar way to getting your screen height correct as you don’t have to keep looking down all time, and causing further pressure and stress on the discs.
From a customer service perspective if you are working in a role say front of house, then you really want to be able to maintain as much eye contact with the customer, rather than keep looking down at the keyboard.
- Air Cushions
These are my must have when sitting at a desk. If you have any pain or discomfort it may not be a good idea to use straight away. But when you are well then it’s normally find to use. Air cushions mimic gym/swiss/pregnancy balls that you may have seen in some funky offices. The advantage that an air cushion has it that you can put these on any seat, and still be able to rest your arms on an armrest (which we now know is important). With the balls you don’t get to use armrest which can increase shoulder tension & problems.
This also enables you to train your proprioception (fancy word for your brain knowing where your body is in space). When your proprioception is working really well it drastically reduces your risk of causing injuries.