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Workspace Tips

Desk with computer

Spending hours a day at your desk can be tough on your body. Julia Doty, occupational therapist, shares these tips to optimize your workstation and improve your workspace:

  • When you sit in front of your computer, your monitor should be an arms length away from you (18-24 inches). The top of the monitor should be placed at or below eye level.
  • Your desk chair should be supported by 5 legs and adjustable. Sit upright or lean slightly back into the chair, using the chair’s backrest to support your lower back. Remember the 90 degree rule-keep your hips, knees, and elbows at a 90 degree angle. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor or flat on a footrest, and don’t wrap your feet around the base of your chair.
  • Keep items that you use frequently in a place where you can easily reach them from your chair, without over-extending your arm.
  • Keep your wrists straight when typing and using the mouse-do not plant your wrists on a wrist rest. Use your elbow and shoulder to move the mouse, rather than your fingers and wrist.
  • Change your posture often-make small adjustments to your seated posture every 15 minutes. Blink often and give your eyes a break every 15 minutes by looking away from the screen for about 10 seconds. Every hour get up and walk around for a few minutes to stretch your legs.
  • Do not use your shoulder to cradle the phone against your ear, and use a headset if you are on the phone frequently or for extended lengths of time.

The HSS Hand Therapy Center offers complete ergonomic evaluations performed by specially trained therapists.

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.