Your monitor position
Bring your monitor close enough that it forces you to sit with your back in your chair.
Proximity of objects
Move the things you use all the time within easy reach. If you have to constantly stretch outside your neutral position, you risk having to position your body in unnatural positions, resulting in injury.
Your chair fit
When you sit in a chair, you want your knees at the same height as your hips, or slightly below. Have your feet planted firmly on the floor, preferably at a 90°. For proper chair fit and set up, check the following:
- Place your fist between the back of your leg and the back of your chair.
- Your chair is too small if your fist can’t fit, and the chair seat touches the back of your legs – this puts pressure on your sciatic nerves (causes all sorts of leg and back pain).
- Your chair is too big if there is more than a 4 inch gap between the seat edge and your legs.
- Adjust the chair back so that you have proper lumbar support.
- Adjust the chair back so that it doesn’t propel you forward or force you to lean back.
- Adjust your armrests so your shoulders don’t hunch, and your arms are at 90° at the elbows.
- Remove the armrests if necessary to avoid incorrect sitting temptations.
Your arm and wrist position
- Ensure your elbows rest directly beneath your relaxed shoulders - to keep your shoulders, upper back and arms in neutral position.
- Adjust your keyboard tray to ensure your elbows, forearms and wrists are in neutral position.
- Don’t let your elbows bend more than 90°
- Don't let your wrists flex at all.
- Use a gel wrist and mouse support to prevent your wrists from flexing when using the keyboard or mouse.
- Wear a sports wrist support to further prevent your wrist from flexing (found at most local drug stores).
Mouse and drawing tablet position
Ensure your mouse fits your hand properly.
- It’s too small if it doesn’t fully support your hand in neutral position.
- It’s too big if you have to strain to use it, and it forces your wrist to flex.
If you have the budget, consider exploring some of the other available options found at specialty ergonomic stores such as Ergo Canada. If you have further questions contact me here, through Facebook (Patricia Pinsk, illustration), or through Twitter (@PatriciaPinsk).