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10 Tips for a Better Workstation Setup

3/11/15 10:57 AM
Does your job require you to sit at a desk for the majority of the work day? If so, how is your workspace set up? 


Is it ergonomically correct? 


What does that even mean?!

According to OSHA, ergonomics is defined as “fitting a job to a person.” It is intended to help lessen muscle fatigue, increase productivity and reduce the number of work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Having the proper ergonomic workspace set up is very important, especially when it comes to maintaining good posture and a healthy spine. 


How does your work station measure up?
The next time you are at your desk, use these 10 tips to better your workspace and decrease your chances of injury due to postural faults...


  1. Sit as close as possible to your desk. By sitting closer to your desk, this will allow you to reach your keyboard or answer your phone while maintaining an upright, erect posture. No slouching forward! Your desk should be at the height of your belly button.

  2. Sit with your bottom back against your chair. Do you sit at the edge of your chair? By sitting with your bottom all the way back against the back of your chair, you are providing support to your lower back and you are able to use your arm rests to better your posture.

  3. Ensure you have good lumbar support. Most chairs have some lumbar support, but it may not be enough for everyone. If there is room between the curve of your lower back and your chair consider rolling up a bath towel or purchasing a lumbar roll to support your lower back. You will be surprised how supporting your lower back with force better posture! Not sure where where to get your hands on a lumbar roll? Each of our office locations have them on hand for purchase.

  4. Sit with your Hips and knees bent to 90 degrees. 

  5. Are your feet touching the ground? If your feet are not flat on the ground, use a foot rest (shoe box or telephone book) so that your feet are flat and supported.
  6. Use your arm restsYour elbows should parallel to your shoulders and should be bent to 90 degrees. By resting your elbows on the arm rests you are able to take some pressure off of your shoulders and helps you sit up tall. 

  7. Use your wrist rest only for rest! The wrist rests on your keyboards are great, but only use them when taking a break from typing. Avoid typing with your wrists pulled back (which may be caused when placing your wrists on the rest while typing). Keep your wrists in a neutral position to avoid injuring the tendons and nerves that pass through your wrist to your hand. 

  8. Eyes at the top of the computer screen. ONLY after you have adjusted your chair to fit your body, next, adjust your computer screen. When sitting up tall, your eyes should be parallel to the top of your computer screen. If you are unable to adjust the height of your screen, request a computer monitor lift or use books to increase the height of the screen.

  9. Keep frequently used objects close to your body. The objects that you use the most during the day, like your keyboard should be reached with the elbows bent at 90 degrees. Other frequently used objects, like your phone, stapler or books should be able to be accessed without having to fully straighten your arm. Like my dad always says, “Work smarter, not harder!”

  10. Rest breaks! If you find yourself slouching forward, having aches in your neck, back or shoulders - stand up and stretch! 
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Written by Christine Whitney.

Christine Whitney is a licensed physical therapist and contributing author.

Topics: Posture, Low back pain, healthy habits, tips, proper posture

What is Spine Control?

2/12/14 3:59 PM
Sit up straight...

Don't slouch...

Sound familiar? We have all probably heard this a time-or-two in our lives. Really, your mother (or your Physical Therapist coworkers!) had your best interest in mind. So why is posture is so important? Proper posture keeps bones and joints in correct alignment, helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces (to prevent arthritis), prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions, prevents strain or overuse problems, and contributes to good appearance. 

Spine Control is the concept of maintaining "Neutral Spine Posture" throughout all activities of daily living. In other words, posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while sitting, standing or laying down.

Tips for Maintaining a Neutral Spine

While Sitting...

  • Keep your back straight, and shoulders back. A lumbar roll behind the small of your back may help to maintain this posture. Don't have a lumbar roll? Contact one of our offices to purchase one, or try rolling up a small towel from home.
  • Avoid crossing your legs or sitting with one leg underneath you. This helps to distribute your body weight evenly over both of your hips.
  • Change positions. Avoiding sitting in one position longer than 30 minutes.


While Standing...

  • Align your ears over your shoulders. Tuck your chin and keep eyes forward.
  • Lift your chest bone and pull your shoulders back.
  • Maintain the natural curve of your low back. Tighten those abs to do so.
  • Keep your knees soft and distribute your body weight over the center of each foot.
  • Standing for long periods of time? Try shifting your weight from side-to-side. Putting one foot up on a stool, leaning o
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Topics: Posture, healthy habits, proper posture