Desk Ergonomics 101

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Psoas Deskinetics

Everyone is built slightly different so this is a generalization but if you adhere to these points your desk should be set up relatively, ergonomically sound. With that said, an ergonomic evaluation may be warranted if pain persists, gets worse or if your company provides it. If pain increases substantially, seek help; you could contact Psoas or another provider of physical healthcare and ergonomic assesments.

Note that increased pain from an ergonomic change is not uncommon, even if it is helpful. When your desk setup is poor, your body will start to adapt to it (not good). So a change will have your body adapting again which could come along with some discomfort. Again, if its bad seek help.

Class begins:

  • Adjust your seat so that your feet are placed firmly on the ground or on a foot rest.
  • Both knee angle and hip angle should be 90 degrees to 120 degrees. (Less than 90 degrees will have you shortening and subsequently unnecessarily tightening your hip flexors and upper calves and lower hamstrings)
  • Now let your arms fall from your shoulders naturally.
  • Place your hands on the keyboard. The angle at your elbow should be 120 degrees. Use a keyboard tray to lower the keyboard if needed – it rarely needs to be raised. (The body does not like it when the arms have to reach up for the keyboard so it adjusts by contracting the upper trapezius muscle on the tops of your shoulders. This will leave your shoulders tight and over used. We find this to be the number one area of complaint in desk workers)
  • Your eyes should be level with the top of the monitor.

Also note:

  • Arm rests tend to raise shoulders upward – keep them low enough to have your shoulders extended down fully or remove them – I take mine off.
  • Back rests should be used for rest – continuous use will weaken your core and make your back muscles lazy. Use it if needed but try to practice sitting up straight on your own.
  • Sit forward enough that the backs of your knees are not pressing against the chair.
  • Try to avoid lurching your neck forward.
  • Avoid too much bending at the wrists.

Simple but effective. See if this helps or ask for professional help.