Working at a computer work station all day can take a toll on the body. Repetitive activities and lack of mobility can contribute to aches, pains, and eventual injuries.
Using the keyboard daily for hours at a time can result in poor circulation to joints and muscles, and create an imbalance in strength and flexibility of certain muscles. These issues can be easily remedied by taking frequent short breaks, or “micro breaks,” throughout your day.
Additionally, specific guidelines for your work station can help maximize your comfort and safety.
The position of the keyboard is critical:
- The keyboard should be at a height that allows you to have your forearms slightly below a horizontal line---or your elbows at slightly more than a 90 degree angle.
- You should be able to slide your knees under the keyboard tray or desk.
- Avoid reaching for the keyboard.
- Avoid having the keyboard on top of your desk, as that is too high for most people.
The position of your computer monitor is important:
- The top of the monitor should be at your eye level, directly in front of you, and at a distance where you can easily see it without squinting or leaning.
HOW CAN A PHYSICAL THERAPIST HELP?
Many physical therapists are experts at modifying work stations to increase efficiency and prevent or relieve pain. Additionally, if you are experiencing pain that isn’t relieved by modifications to your work station, you should see a physical therapist who can help develop a treatment plan to relieve your pain and improve your mobility.If you need glasses for reading, you may need to have a special pair for use at your computer to avoid tipping your head backward to see through bi-focals or other types of reading glasses.
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