Musculoskeletal disorders are characterized as injuries affecting the body’s locomotive structures (muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skeleton, or nerves). These injuries can cause pain with activities, functional activities, and even static activities like sitting.
With the vastly growing number of people who have been working from home recently, we at Fusion Rehab and Wellness want to make sure that you are doing your best to protect yourself from suffering soft tissue injuries. To make sure your desk is structured for optimal use, see the following guidelines.
- When seated, ensure the angle between your trunk and thighs is about 90 to 115 degrees.
- Feet should be flat on the floor and thighs parallel to floor. Use a footrest if necessary (books or stacks of paper).
- Sit upright in your chair allowing your back and shoulders to making contact against the backrest.
- Leave a 2-4 inches between the edge of the seat and pack of your knees.
- Arm rest should be adjusted so your arms rest by your side and your shoulders remain relaxed during keyboard and mouse usage.
- Keep elbows bent to 90 degrees and resting lightly on arm rests.
- The top of the monitor shoulder be at eye level when sitting. (Use books, boxes, etc. to raise monitor as needed).
- Position monitor directly in front of you.
- Position monitor 18-30 inches away from you.
- Position keyboard so it’s directly in front of you. Your elbows should continue to form a 90 degree angle while typing.
- Mouse should be at the same height and next to keyboard to avoid overreaching.
- Use a padded wrist rest while using mouse.
Other recommended tips: If working on a laptop which is being elevated to be at eye level, use a wireless keyboard to avoid having to elevate your arms while working. Use a headset for long or frequent telephone usage to avoid over activating the upper trapezius muscle and tightening of neck muscles. Get up and stretch at least once and hour. Take bathroom and water breaks frequently to allow your muscles to activate and blood to better circulate.
Although working can sometimes be a pain in the neck, it doesn’t have to become an actual physical pain. By following the recommendations above, you will be decreasing your odds at suffering from a soft tissue injury.
Thank you for taking the time to read our recommendations and we wish you well!
Maritza Correa, PTA
Fusion Rehab and Wellness