Preventing Pain from Poor Office Posture
by Julie Generoso, DPT
AZOPT Goodyear Physical Therapist
Ever wonder why, after a long day of work, you return home with a sore neck or lower back pain. It could be poor office posture. Having the right set up at your work station can help prevent back, neck, and even shoulder problems.
So what is the ideal work station? Let’s take a closer look.
To prevent reaching, place items you use frequently and even occasionally within arm’s reach. If you rarely use an item, place it towards the back of your desk, in a location where you can bend at your waist to reach the items. Try a desk that can convert from sitting to standing, so you can alter between positions throughout the day and avoid any one position for multiple hours.
You will want a chair that is comfortable and adjustable. The office chair should support your lower back along the curve. The lumbar support prevents low back pain. Keep your feet level on the ground. If you’re short, place a stool or book under your feet so they can reach. Set your desk chair height to allow for a ninety degree angle at your elbows, hips, and knees. A chair that rotates is ideal so your chair rotates throughout the day and not your body, which will help prevent back pain.
The Computer Monitor
Place your monitor on your desk so you do not have to lean forward to see the monitor. It should be at eye level or just below.
The Office Phone
Avoid holding the phone between your ear and shoulder, which places too much strain on your neck. If you are on the phone a lot, try using a headset or headphones, your neck remains in a neutral position. These tips also apply to cell phone use.
When texting, the phone screen should be at eye level so you can avoid bending your head forward. Keep your neck relaxed and avoid shrugging your shoulders. Try using your index fingers, so you don’t overuse your thumbs.
These are basic tips to get you started with better office posture. Stretching and exercise will also improve your strength and flexibility, which will keep your body healthier throughout the day. If you do begin to experience pain, call us to schedule your free assessment, and find out how a licensed physical therapist can further plan better office posture and reduce your symptoms.