Have you ever had an ache or pain that no matter how many therapies you've tried, it just doesn't seem to go away? Chances are you have the ergonomics of one of your common spaces to blame. Lets look at 3 common places and outline proper ergonomics for you.
#1 Your Desk/Workspace
- Your chair should be at a height where when your feet are flat your knees are bent to 90 degrees, and with your butt all the way back in the seat, your hips are also at a 90 degree angle.
- Your keyboard should be in front, at a height so that with your arms to the side relaxed, your elbows are at 90 degrees
- Your screen needs to be directly in front of you at eye level. Do not be looking down towards the screen or to the side.
- You can help the release of stress on your back by having a stool under the desk to put one or both of your feet up on. Having your knees slightly higher than your hips and hips a little more than 90 degrees with aid in digestion.
#2 Your Car
- Your seat should be close enough to the pedals that when your feet are in place there is a slight bend to the knee
- Your hands should also be close enough that when reaching for the steering wheel you have a bend in the elbows, and the height of the seat so that your hands, when at the ready, are lower than your shoulders.
- Your knees - If you can tilt the seat, have it at an angle so that your knees are slightly higher than your hips
#3 The couch/Lounging at home
(don't worry, I'm not going to tell you to sit with feet flat on the floor and back straight, although this IS ideal)
- When watching TV or just relaxing, you want to make sure that what ever it is that has your attention, you are looking straight at it. DO NOT sit parallel to a TV and turn your head to the left or right to look at the screen. This = recipe for disaster.
- Put your feet up, support your lower back by putting a pillow under your knees or bending them.
- Make sure your head is supported by either sitting in a seat that has head support or propping a pillow behind your head if the top of the couch.
And finally, the common denominator for all of these locations is:
- Make sure your WHOLE body faces the direction you are looking.
- Hips and shoulders need to be square... we square?
Melissa Kennedy, D.O.M.P, Osteopathic Manual Practitioner