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The Importance of Proper Desk Positioning

By Alignwc Subscribe to RSS | July 13th 2012 | Views:

For the most part, we spend a lot of time sitting at our desks every day. This can wreak havoc on our bodies. An improperly set up desk can not only cause a repetitive strain injury, like carpal tunnel syndrome, but it can also cause other injuries like pinched nerves in your shoulders and wrist pain. Minor adjustments in the way that you sit and how you position your desk can provide multiple benefits.

1. Support your back – Avoid back pain by adjusting your chair so that your lower back is properly positioned. A correctly adjusted chair will reduce the strain on your back. Get a chair that is easily adjustable so that you can change the height, back position and tilt. Have your knees level with your hips. You may need a footrest for this.

2. Adjust your chair – Adjust your chair height so that you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor. This can help prevent the repetitive strain injuries. Your elbows should be by the side of your body, so that the arms form an L-shape at the elbow joint.

3. Rest your feet on the floor- Your feet should be flat on the floor. If they are not, ask if you can have a footrest, which lets you rest your feet at a level that is comfortable. Don’t cross your legs, as this can cut off circulation and cause hip problems.

4. Place your screen at eye level – Your screen should be directly in front of you. A good guide is to place the monitor about arm’s length away, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level. To achieve this you may need to get a stand for the monitor. If the screen is too high or too low, you’ll have to bend your neck, which can be uncomfortable.

5. Using the keyboard – Place your keyboard in front of you when typing. Leave a gap of about four to six inches at the front of the desk to rest your writs between bouts of typing. Your wrists should be straight when using a keyboard. Keep your elbows vertical under your shoulder and right by your side. You can also use a wrist rest to keep your wrists straight and at the same level as they keys.

6. Place mouse near keyboard – Keep it in position that will enable you to transition between typing and using the mouse with as little effect on your arm and wrist posture as possible

7. Arrange items within sight and reach – Place your phone, writing equipment, stapler, books and other frequently used items within easy reach from where you sit. Avoid repeatedly stretching or twisting to reach things.

8. Avoid phone strain – If you spend a lot of time on the phone, try exchanging your handset for a headrest. Repeatedly cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can strain the muscles in your neck.

Alignwc - About Author:
If you have any questions, please e-mail us, at As a Chicago-area Chiropractor we provide pain management, rehabilitation, injury prevention, and wellness programs for Chicago and the northern suburbs of Chicago including Northbrook, Deerfield, Deerfield Chiropractic , Glencoe, and Glenview as part of a chiropractic wellness program. To learn more about the office visit

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