April 23

Workspace Ergonomics

workplace ergonomics - laptopDoes your job require you to sit at a desk all day? Does sitting at your desk give you neck, shoulder, back or wrist pain? At REP Physio in Southwest Edmonton, we’re happy to give you a few tips on how to use ergonomics to adjust your workspace to properly suit you and reduce those aches and pains!

Chair Adjustments

Height: To find the proper height for your chair, adjust the seat height to rest just below your knee cap. Feet should rest firmly on the ground when you are seated with your knees bent to 90 degrees.

Back Support: The lumbar pad of the chair’s back rest should support the natural curve of your lower back.

Depth: When sitting, you should have your back resting on the back support without the front of the seat putting pressure on the back of your knees. Some seats allow you to adjust the seat similarly to the way you would a sit in your car by moving the seat forward and back.

Armrests: These should be set at the height of your elbow. Make sure that your armrests are not too high and create a position for your shoulders to be shrugged up. Your arms should rest naturally on the arm rests with shoulders relaxed.

Work Surface

Another important aspect is your work surface and it too should fit you individually. Try to keep materials you work on/with the most to be within an easy reach. The height of your desk is also important. If possible, the top of your desk should be elbow height. If you can’t adjust your desk, then raise the height of your seat and add a footrest to accommodate.

Keyboard and Computer

Your keyboard should lie flat to allow for your wrists to stay in a comfortable neutral position. As well, your computer should be placed directly in front of you and the top of the screen should be just below eye level.

Workplace stretches
Exercising and stretching is something that we encourage everyone to try to do daily. We know you have busy lives and work can take up the majority of your time. So today, we are going to look at 8 exercises to help improve posture and reduce pain that can be done while working at your desk.

1. Neck rotations

  • Sit nice and tall in your seat
  • Slowly turn your neck to the left and the right
  • Going as far as is comfortable each time (feeling a good stretch is normal)
  • Repeat 15 times each direction

2. Seated spine rotation

  • Sit nice and tall in your seat
  • Place your hands across your chest with each hand on either shoulder
  • Slowly turn your shoulders and chest to the left and the right
  • Going as far as is comfortable each time (feeling a good stretch is normal)
  • Repeat 15 times each direction

3. Scapular retractions

  • Sit nice and tall in your seat (can also be done standing)
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 2-3seconds
  • Avoid shrugging your shoulders up towards your ears
  • Relax and repeat 20 times.

4. Upper Trapezius muscle stretch

  • Sitting tall, place one hand underneath yourself (so you are sitting on that hand
  • Tilt your ear to shoulder in the opposite direction of the hand underneath you (if you are sitting on left hand lean ear towards right shoulder)
  • Hold stretch for 30 seconds
  • Repeat on other side, switching hands
  • Repeat for a total of 2 minutes per side

5. Pectoralis muscle stretch

  • Using the door frame in your office (or wall)
  • Bring arm up to shoulder level and bend at elbow
  • Place palm on the wall or frame (this should result in your palm and forearm on the wall/frame)
  • Turn body away from arm on wall/frame and feel for a stretch
  • Hold this stretch for 2 minutes
  • Repeat on other side

6. Seated hip stretch

  • Sitting tall, place your opposite foot over your knee
  • Holding this position, let your knee drop towards the floor
  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds
  • Repeat on other leg
  • Do this for a total of 2 minutes per side

7. Hamstring stretch

  • First, stack a few books on the floor (to be used to prop up your foot)
  • Standing, place one foot onto the stack of books
  • Keeping that leg straight, lean forward
  • You should start to feel a stretch at the back of your leg
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Repeat on other leg
  • Do this for a total of 2 minutes per side

8. Calf pumping

  • Calf pumping is a good way to get the blood flowing in your lower legs
  • Sitting, point your toes towards the ground
  • Then, point your toes towards your nose
  • Repeat 30 times

Give these a try throughout your day to help you move, perform and live better!






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