The financial district is a place of work for many of us and the vast majority of us spend hours sitting at a desk in front of a computer. At Rebalance Sports Medicine we unfortunately see too many injuries related to poor postures from sitting at a desk all day.
Sitting in front of a computer for long periods tends to lead our bodies into poor positions. The head and neck drift forwards towards the computer screen, the shoulders round forward and the spine loses its’ natural curves (ending up fully rounded from top to bottom). This position is not optimal for our bones, joints and muscles which typically leads to strain in one or more regions including but not limited to the neck, shoulder, spine, pelvis and hips.
Due to the recent Coronavirus pandemic, millions of people are now starting to work from home and are adjusting to doing their jobs remotely. Many people are concerned about their desk set up and how this may impact their bodies. In the following interview with the BBC news, I share some useful tips and general principals to think about when setting up your home workstations.
Injury caused by poor sitting ergonomics can be prevented and this is why the physiotherapists at Rebalance sports medicine came up with this list of tips to follow when sitting at the office for prolonged durations.
- Focus on not allowing your head to drift forward. Imagine that you are a puppet with a string connecting your head to the ceiling. Think of that string pulling your head upwards making you taller while lengthening your neck.
- Don’t allow your shoulders to round forward. Think of widening your collar bones and opening up your chest.
- Keep your shoulder centered and square over your pelvis. Don’t allow your body to shift sideways, forwards or backwards. Watch out for situations where you are only using one arm rest and leaning your body towards that side.
- Sit on your sit bones. Many desk workers get tired and roll onto their tail bone which causing the low back to be rounded. This can put a lot of stress on the discs in your low back.
- Make sure that you are putting even weight on both your sit bones. Do not allow most of your weight to be on one side of your buttock. Remove wallets and bulky items from your pockets.
- When you are sitting, look down at your knees. Both knees should be in line. One knee should not be more forward than the other.
- You chair should allow you to maintain a 90 degree angle at your knees and hips to minimize tension in the muscles of your lower extremity.
- Your feet should touch the floor. This will give you more stability and will help you maintain your best posture for longer durations.
- Make sure your computer screen is directly in front of your line of sight.
- Most importantly, try to get up and move around through out the day to combat the negative effects of sitting.
At Rebalance Sports Medicine, we also offer office ergonomic assessments where an experienced ergonomic evaluator can come to your office to conduct an assessment and provide recommendations to help prevent issues that are caused by poor desk setup and computer ergonomics. Please contact us for more information.