And no, we’re not talking about your cognitive slump that has you reaching for your second or third cup of coffee around 2pm. We’re talking about your posture and the physical slump that has you looking like Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame while sitting at your desk.

 

Does your neck or back feel stiff after hours at work? Do you feel eye strain from prolonged screen time? Do you know that your desk isn’t set up well but not sure how to fix it? Keep reading and we’ll teach you some quick tips and tricks for workplace and desk ergonomics.

 

 

#1: Take frequent “movement snacks”. Movement snacks are short breaks you can take throughout the work day to break up sitting, increase your total steps, and improve your overall wellness. It can be as simple as a short walk to the copy machine, climb a flight of stairs, or doing a few exercises or stretches at your desk. It is recommended that you take 5 minutes every hour to move just a little!

 

#2: Employ the 20/20/20 rule. Did you know that your eyes can get tired too? Just like you might need a rest break while exercising at times, Ophthalmologists recommend rest breaks for your eyes too. They recommend looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes to help. For visualization, this is about the length of a U-Haul truck or two long hallway rugs put together. It is also helpful to blink often and adjust the screen brightness to match the room lightness.

 

#3: What about your desk set up? Adjust the chair height so your feet can touch the ground or use a footrest if they don’t reach. Have your chair back upright so you aren’t slouched or slumped in your chair. Your arms should rest at your side with elbows at 90 degrees so that your forearms are parallel to the floor. Your wrist should be straight with your mouse close to you. If you are on the phone a lot, think about using a headset to limit strain on your neck and shoulders. Standing desks are a great option to try to encourage more movement. Research shows that adjustable height desks are linked to overall improved productivity, better concentration, and improved overall health.

 

If pain interferes with your activities of daily living and prevents you from living life as fully as you would like, come work with a Physical Therapist to help address your individual needs. At Dee PT we will help you feel good again! Also, if your work requires more of a physical type of labor then stay tuned for next month’s post and some tips for safe lifting strategies.

 

Written by: Sarah Capron, PT