Dr. Bell's Blog

Is Your Computer Giving You Back Pain?

Workplace ergonomics has become a big topic in recent years as more and more people are required to be at a desk, and on a computer for most of their work day.  Do you think most of us abide by proper desk ergonomics?  Of course not.  Posture related spinal problems have become a leading cause of back related problems that I see in the office.  It can be very difficult to get the perfect work station set up, but you want to continuously strive to get as close to it as possible.  Here are a few basics to help guide you in the right direction.

1.  Monitor:  The monitor should be placed at a comfortable distance away.  To find the sweet spot, simply sit in your chair with one arm extended.  Your finger tips should touch the screen.  That is the perfect distance.  As far as height, in a neutral position, you should look straight out at the middle to top half of the monitor.

2.  Keyboard:  The keyboard and mouse should both be placed in such a way the your elbows to your sides, and your arms at 90 degree angles.  This will allow for minimal muscle strain.

3.  Chair:  Your chair may be the most vital aspect of the entire situation.  It supports your back, buttocks, and overall general posture.  First, find a chair that offers good lower back support.  Next, when you sit down there should be 2-3 inches of space from the back of your knees.  Finally, your feet should be flat on the floor (not dangling), and your thighs slightly below your hips.  For those of you shorter folks, you may need a foot rest to make this happen.

In general, physical activity is one of the most important things you can do if you have a desk job.  Make a point to get up a minimum of once per hour and walk around the office.  Regular, daily exercise is also very important.  Of course, staying regular with chiropractic care will also set you up to not only reduce the chances of significant problems, but also will help to quickly fix any problems that do arise from regular desk work.  Get your spine checked at the chiropractor today, BEFORE it is too late!