Sitting all day? Read up on ergonomic tips!

Vancouver RMT Article of the Week

Are you seated at a desk for the majority of your day? With your arms up typing, and your head orientated towards a computer screen? There are certain discomforts that can result from spending the day-to-day in the same position.  Click the link or read the excerpts below or some tips to make your ergonomic positioning more comfortable.  In addition to changing your ergonomics – we’re  a wellness clinic centred around a group of Vancouver RMTs here in Vancouver, so we like to focus on manual therapy as part of postural alignment and pain relief due to strained ergonomic positions.

Originally printed for, click the link to view the whole article but here is an excerpt with some great ideas.

Once the workstation has been situated, then the user can adjust the office chair according to his or her physical proportions. Here are the most important guidelines – distilled into a quick checklist – to help make sure that the office chair and work area are as comfortable as possible and will cause the least amount of stress to the spine:

  1. Elbow measure First, begin by sitting comfortably as close as possible to your desk so that your upper arms are parallel to your spine. Rest your hands on your work surface (e.g. desktop, computer keyboard). If your elbows are not at a 90-degree angle, adjust your office chair height either up or down.

  2. Thigh measure Check that you can easily slide your fingers under your thigh at the leading edge of the office chair. If it is too tight, you need to prop your feet up with an adjustable footrest. If you are unusually tall and there is more than a finger width between your thigh and the chair, you need to raise the desk or work surface so that you can raise the height of your office chair.

  3. Calf measure With your bottom pushed against the chair back, try to pass your clenched fist between the back of your calf and the front of your office chair. If you can’t do that easily, then the office chair is too deep. You will need to adjust the backrest forward, insert a low back support (such as a lumbar support cushion, a pillow or rolled up towel), or get a new office chair.

  4. Low back support Your bottom should be pressed against the back of your chair, and there should be a cushion that causes your lower back to arch slightly so that you don’t slump forward or slouch down in the chair as you tire over time. This low back support in the office chair is essential to minimize the load (strain) on your back. Never slump or slouch forward in the office chair, as that places extra stress on the structures in the low back, and in particular, on the lumbar discs.

  5. Resting eye level Close your eyes while sitting comfortably with your head facing forward. Slowly open your eyes. Your gaze should be aimed at the center of your computer screen. If your computer screen is higher or lower than your gaze, you need to either raise or lower it to reduce neck strain.

  6. Armrest Adjust the armrest of the office chair so that it just slightly lifts your arms at the shoulders. Use of an armrest on your office chair is important to take some of the strain off your neck and shoulders, and it should make you less likely to slouch forward in your chair.

Broadway Wellness is built around an amazing group of highly qualified, friendly Registered Massage Therapists/Vancouver RMTs here in Vancouver, BC. They are always looking out for your best interest and the most efficient road to a quick recovery. Our clinic has expanded to promote the importance of Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture. This helps you to get a spectrum of effective and beneficial treatment under one roof. If you would like to book your next massage therapy appointment, please book online or call us at 604-732-5222.


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