Working with your computer, not against it : A Healthy Workstation set up

Evolution has yet to catch up with our transition from hunting and gathering in the wild to hunching and typing using a search engine.  The hours of staying sedentary with small micro movements are hard on our backs, our necks, and our wrists.  One statistic reports that your fingers travel 15-20 miles a day when typing.  That’s some serious training required to complete that near marathon daily.Use these simple tips below to ensure that your workstation is set up to optimize your health and wellness.

  • Keep your feet flat on the floor or on a stool.
  • Knees should be parallel to ground or slightly below parallel.
  • Your low back should be supported with a cushion or built in support.
  • Recline your chair to 100-110 degrees so that the chair starts to work for you, decreasing the work for the postural muscles and decreasing the pressure in the discs of the low back.
  • To see if you are the correct distance from your screen, lean back in your chair, hold your right arm out horizontally, your middle finger should almost touch the centre of the computer screen.
  • Your eyes should be in line with a point on the screen about 2-3” below the top on the monitor casing (not the screen).
  • Elbows bent at, or greater (i.e. more open), than 90 degrees.
  • Upper arm and elbow are as close to body as possible.
  • Wrist is as straight as possible when using mouse.
  • Head and neck are as straight as possible, no rotation, flexion, or extension required when in working position.
  • Neutral shoulder position (not shrugged near ears).
  • Centre yourself to the ‘B’ on the key board .
  • And most importantly, take frequent breaks!

If your computer is starting to win the battle and you are noticing aches and pains such as sore shoulders, headaches, numbness into the hands or achiness in the forearms, Active Release Technique might be an option for you.  Read more here:

Happy typing!

Dr. Robin Armstrong, Chiropractor & Active Release Technique provider