Is Your Home Workstation Causing You Pain?

 In Ergonomics

In this unprecedented time, many of us are working from home for the first time. While companies frequently evaluate workstations for ergonomic issues, your home workstation was probably put together with very little thought for long term function. You may not even have an official work space-you may be working at your kitchen table or from your couch. Long hours spent sitting in improper positions are most likely causing you PAIN!

Here are a few quick ergonomic tips based on common workstation issues we see in our patients in our Overland Park chiropractic office:

  • The top of your computer screen should be at eye level. If you use multiple computer screens (one of the worst set ups for neck ergonomics), situate your screens so that the screen you look at the majority of the time is directly in front you, your head and neck in a neutral position as you  look straight ahead at the screen. Do not have both screens meet at your nose. This guarantees your neck is never in a neutral position because your head is always turned slightly to one side or the other, never straight ahead.
  • Your hands should rest comfortably on the keyboard with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. If your keyboard is too high or too low this can cause neck, shoulder and wrist pain. You will either lift your shoulders up to type if the keyboard is too high or hunch them down if the keyboard is too low.
  • Use a laptop stand, separate keyboard and mouse if you are working on a laptop. This is the only way to get both the screen height and keyboard height to be ergonomically correct at the same time.
  • Sit at a desk or adjustable table. Most dining and kitchen tables are slightly higher than a typical desk and have no keyboard tray options. This can cause neck, shoulder and wrist pain because you will raise your hands higher than you should to use your keyboard and mouse which brings your shoulders up too high.
  • Sit with your buttocks and back against your chair. Sitting forward in your chair for long hours causes the muscles of your back to become tense because they are working to support you in an unnatural, forward position.
  • Try to place your feet flat on the floor. Do not cross your ankles. Crossing your ankles can lead to hip, knee and ankle pain. If this position isn’t comfortable for you, try to find a box or adjustable step to use as a footrest. Amazon and office supply companies have many adjustable footrest options.

As you can imagine, there are endless home workstation configurations and challenges. If you are having trouble visualizing solutions for your home workstation ergonomic issues, our Overland Park chiropractic office is here to help! For $50, Dr. Melinda will do a 30 minute workstation evaluation via FaceTime or similar program. You can also email photos or a short video of your workstation to us, then do a 30 minute phone consultation. During the consultation, not only will we discuss workstation ergonomics, but we will also discuss stretches and other home care strategies to help reduce your workstation related pain.

If you’re looking for a chiropractor in Overland Park, would like to learn more about chiropractic care or would like to set up an ergonomic consultation, give us a call at 913-381-0740 or email us at!