- Chair Height – You should be able to fit a fist between your chair and knee and be able to slide a flat hand between the bottom of your thigh and the chair seat. If your seat is too high you will tend to tuck your feet back and cross them which dramatically increases the stress on your 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint (big toe). You may have to work around the height of the desk first since you probably can’t adjust it. If you need to, make your chair height taller in order to reach the keyboard comfortably, consider using a small box under your feet so they are not ‘dangling’ off the chair.
- Feet – There are a few options here. You can either have your feet rest comfortably on the ground or use a binder to raise your feet to a 15-25 degree angle. Having an increased angle will help to relax the muscles of the lower back (this is why there is a foot rest in your car for your left foot!).
- Back Rest – The back of the chair usually has a small lumbar support on it and this is exactly where the support should rest. Remember your spine is full of curves and we want to use the back rest to support these curves. Having the support too high can cause us to slouch with our lower back. Having the support too low increases strain on your upper back and neck
- Arm Rest – The arm rests are meant to take the stress off your shoulders and neck. Set them at a height that is comfortable for you when your shoulders are relaxed. Having them too high or low will cause you to shrug your shoulders, creating trigger points, stiff muscles and vertebral restrictions.
- Keyboards – Try to use ‘floating fingers’ when you are typing. Having a wrist support is ok as long as you remember to keep the keyboard flat (there are risers on the back of the keyboard, try not to use them).
- Monitor Distance – An arm’s length away. 30 inches is the point of vergence for our eyes (when all the lights are off this is the distance your eyes will adjust to naturally).
- Monitor Height – The top of the monitor should be at or below eye level. This will keep you from craning your neck and help with your eye health (40% more of your cornea and sclera are covered when you gaze down at a 30 degree angle, keeping more of your eye properly moisturized).
Look at how high the screen is, do you think this might cause discomfort in your neck?
Notice the lack of lumbar support or arm rests. It would be hard to maintain proper posture for any extended amount of time.
Does the screen seem a little close to you? Can you imagine it being at least an arms length away?
Finally, notice the incline in the keyboard, this would certainly put some increased stress on your wrists while typing.
If after going over this blog post you feel like you or your co-workers still need more help with setting up your computer desk please just give my office a call at (518) 390-2484.
I can help correct your alignment issues that you have from years of sitting at a desk that isn't right for you and can go over in depth everything you can do to move forward!
As always, Yours in Health,