Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
If you are like a lot of Americans, odds are you spend a lot of time at a desk either at work or at your home office. Staying seated for a large portion of the work week can take a serious toll on your spine, but luckily there are some steps you can take to mitigate those issues. Today, we share four ways to ensure your workstation is designed to protect the integrity of your spine.
In order to avoid slouching, which can put undue stress on your spine, you’ll want to make sure your chair is set to the appropriate height. If your chair doesn’t have an adjustable height, you may want to invest in a better chair or ask management if you can get an adjustable chair. The seat should be positioned so that the desk level is approximately the same height as your elbows. Any lower or higher and you’ll find yourself leaning forward or backwards to type, which will shift how pressure is distributed throughout your spine.
Another great way to take care of your spine is to invest in a sit-to-stand workstation. Even if you sit with ideal posture, hours of stress channeled through your spine is going to take a toll on your body. If you invest in a sit-to-stand workstation, you can work from your feet and take some pressure off of your lumbar spine. If it’s not feasible to get a sit-to-stand workstation at your desk, try to do some work activities while on your feet. Take that conference call while standing or find other activities that can be performed while on your feet.
Computer Screen Height
Getting your chair height is important, but it’s only worthwhile if your computer screen is also positioned at the right height. Ideally, your screen will be positioned so that when you’re looking directly forward, your eyes hit between the center of the screen and the top of the screen. You’ll also want your screen to be approximately 20-30 inches away from your face. If your screen is positioned at these points of reference, you’ll find that your head, neck and spine are naturally guided to a proper seated position.
If you have a nice office chair, odds are it comes with some adjustable features to make your seating experience more comfortable. However, if you abuse these features, you can jeopardize the integrity of your spine. Your chair may have the option to lean back, but try to work with your chair in an upright position in order to keep your hips, spine and head in an upright alignment. Some chairs also come with a lumbar support system, or you can buy a gadget that performs a similar feature on your own. Make sure these are positioned in the lumbar (lower) portion of your spine, as it will help support the lower portion of your back, which doesn’t always touch the back of the seat due to the natural curve of our spine. Invest in one of these, and you’ll notice you’ll have less lower back pain at the office!