10 Is Your Home Office Causing Pain? Here Are Some Ergonomic Tips That Can Help!

Summary

I recently saw a patient at our clinic who was expereincing right shoulder pain. This pain was causing discomfort, and was pain radiating to his right arm. He was also experiencing numbness and tingling into his right hand which caused him to wake up from his sleep during the night. 

After our discussion it became obvious that the pain was due to his new home office set up. This patient usually travels to the office, but due to the current restrictions due to COVID-19, he is now working from home. We discussed some stretching and exercising techniques to help prevent the pain, and we also discussed some ergonomic tips to help prevent this pain in the future.

Given the current situation and the number of people who are working at home, we are dedicating todays episode to the review of good ergonomic practices. This will hopefully reduce your chances of injury and allow you to work pain free. Lets begin!

Keyboard Position

When working at a keyboard, the user should sit in an upright position with the upper arms hanging naturally from the shoulders. The elbows should be bent at about a 90° angle when the fingers are on the home row of the keyboard.

The Mouse

Hand-held input devices, such as a computer mouse, are commonly used in computer work. A mouse should be placed as close to the user’s side as possible and at a height that allows the arm to hang relaxed from the shoulder. The wrist should be in a ‘neutral’ position (that is, so the hand is in line with the forearm). This position causes the least physical stress. The mouse should be able to move freely.

Chair

The purpose of well-designed seating is to provide stable support that allows movement, comfort and task accomplishment. Height-adjustable chairs can help place the user at a proper height for typing, writing and viewing the monitor, especially when height-adjustable tables are not available.

Desks

The best way to provide the proper screen and keyboard heights for all users is to use split level tables or desks that allow each height to be adjusted independently. This ensures that almost all users, large and small, can have proper postures as they work. Any table, desk or stand used for computer work must be deep enough for both the keyboard and the monitor to be in front of the worker.

For more information about standing desks visit: https://muscleandjoint.ca/five-reason-why-sitting-is-the-new-smoking/

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