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Sharp Health News

5 ways to de-slouch your workspace (infographic)

Oct. 27, 2015

Since 1950, the rate of sedentary jobs — jobs that require little to no physical activity — has increased more than 80 percent. Today, four out of five adults work a job that mostly involves sitting, many in front of a computer.

In addition to the overall health dangers of prolonged sitting, improper posture can lead to serious back, neck and wrist pain. Sharp Memorial Hospital physical therapist Lisa Prieto offers these five tips to help avoid workplace injury.

5 ways to de-slouch your workspace (infographic). One in three workplace injuries are due to musculoskeletal disorders, often caused by poor workstation habits. Improve your desk posture and avoid pesky body pains with these five proven tricks. Type with purpose. Position your keyboard directly in front of you and keep your elbows by your sides. Your wrist should be straight, not bent, while typing. Keep your mouse in reach. Your mouse should be at the same height as the keyboard. Keep your elbow at your side and move your entire forearm to avoid small wrist movement. Don’t forget your phone. Your phone should be on your nondominant side, and if you have a headset, use it when typing or using your mouse. If you use a handheld, keep your neck straight and your shoulders relaxed. Adjust your chair. Your hips should be slightly above your knees and your feet should be flat on the floor. Sit all the way back and remember to relax your shoulders. Maximize your monitor. The top of your monitor screen should be near eye level and no closer than an arm’s length. Position it to avoid glare from overhead lights and windows. The following quick tips can also help you avoid workplace injury: Place frequently used items close to you. Use a document holder to avoid twisting your head. Vary tasks to avoid repetitive motions. Take micro-breaks every 30 minutes to avoid prolonged computer work. Adjust monitor contrast to high, and brightness to low. Good desk posture is dynamic and relaxed, not static and rigid, says Lisa Prieto, a physical therapist with Sharp Memorial Hospital. The goal is not to find and maintain one perfect position. The goal is to move frequently and easily within a range of good pastures.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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