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Making Work Comfortable

Making Work Comfortable

by Malvika Sampath, PT, DPTLeave a Comment

Whether you are working at home or the office, it is important to consider your workplace setup. Due to poor workplace setups, pain can occur, limiting people in all areas of life. In this blog, we will discuss ways to improve workplace ergonomics.

1. Chair

One of the most important parts of workplace setups is the chair being used. If the chair has adjustable options, it will be easier to set it up appropriately for you. Some key things to look at are the back of the chair, seat height, and seat length. The back of the chair should hit at the top of your shoulder blades, the seat height should allow for your feet to be flat on the floor, and the edge of the seat should hit about three fingers width from the back of your knees.

2. Monitor/Screen/Keyboard

The top of your screen or screens should be at eye level. Usually, screen height becomes problematic when somebody types directly on their laptop keyboard. This will cause slouching or shoulder elevation-dependent on laptop level. Using a laptop screen, use an external keyboard and elevate your laptop. The keyboard should be at a height that allows your elbows to be bent at about 90 degrees with your shoulders relaxed. The screen should be about one arm’s length away from your face while seated in your chair.

3. Sitting

It is easy to get wrapped up in your work and stay in the same position for a long duration of time. This can create fatigue, poor posture, and pain. An easy fix for this is to set the alarm to get up one time every 30-60 minutes. Allowing yourself to get up, even if you stand up and walk around your chair, will let you sit back down with new positioning and improved posture.

4. Postural Exercises

Here are a couple exercises that will help to reinforce good posture and can be done while sitting at your desk. These exercises will help you become more aware of posture in various settings.

  • Chin Retraction: Sit up tall. Retract your chin towards your face as if creating a “double chin.” Hold the contraction for 5 seconds and perform ten repetitions. Do this a few times each day.
  • Shoulder Blade Retraction: Sit up tall. Squeeze shoulder blades together without elevating shoulders. When squeezing, imagine you are squeezing a pencil between your shoulder blades. Hold the contraction for 5 seconds and perform ten repetitions. Do this a few times each day.

As you sit down at your desk for a full day of hard work, think about these tips. Start by making a few changes and performing the exercises. Take a look at what you have and make adjustments to make your setup as ergonomic as possible. Posture is not something that changes overnight, but differences can be made with consistency. If you have more questions about posture, don’t hesitate to contact your local Athletico Physical Therapy clinic and schedule a free assessment. Free Assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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