Offices come in all shapes and sizes. Especially now, in the “work from home” era, an office can be wherever you decide to get a little work done. From the couch to the coffee table, the breakfast nook to the bed, where and how we sit can affect a lot more than just our productivity and general comfort.
The expert team at Alabama Orthopaedic Surgeons can talk about proper posture and back pain well into the new year, but depending on how you’re setting up your home or work office, you might be inviting another pain into your life—one a little closer to the keyboard.
Wrist pain/injury is one of the most common workplace ailments, but it doesn’t have to be. By focusing on the ergonomics of your office setup, you can position yourself for both maximum comfort and health.
Starting with the working surface itself, the height of your desk can have a real impact on the angle of your wrists.
For the best results over time, you’ll want to keep your wrists as level as possible above the keyboard. But depending on your height and the height of your working surface/desk, this may be more or less difficult to achieve.
According to some measurements, those of us standing between 5’8”- 5’10” should use a desk or surface standing between 28”- 30” tall. If you’re taller or shorter, you may need to use an ideal desk height calculator to find out the best surface height for you.
A good desk is a worthwhile investment, but you can also make up the difference by purchasing an adjustable chair or even a cushion for an existing chair. This can position your torso, shoulders, and arms at an ideal height above the keyboard.
Consider your Posture
When slouching, we can sometimes shift our heft into the working surface through our palms. This adds strain and makes maintaining proper wrist positioning difficult. Crossing our legs or putting up our feet can take us out of proper alignment also.
Start by sitting up straight until your back is flat against your chair. Plant and keep both feet firmly on the ground to avoid shifting your weight too drastically. A monitor at eye-level can keep your chin up and shoulders back to prevent both wrist and neck injury.
Desktop users can purchase a monitor stand to raise the screen to eye-level, while laptop users might consider a laptop stand to both raise the keyboard and monitor.
Change It Up
Your body at work and your body during exercise aren’t so different. In both scenarios, it’s important to give your body a break.
An adjustable standing desk can get you up and out of your chair for a much-needed change of pace while breaks to stretch or hydrate keep you in the game.
There are plenty of simple exercises to keep your wrists in shape at work, and wrist braces or other compression products can help maintain the correct wrist angle and encourage proper form. However you choose to keep limber, at least you’re on the path to thinking about your office ergonomics!
Fit to Type Another Day
Between emails, keyboards, monitors, desks, and mouses, we can move and shift all over the place during even just 10 minutes at work. By establishing some baseline best practices and considering our body, we can prevent lifelong damage to our most unconsidered joints!
The experienced care team at Alabama Orthopaedic Surgeons knows how hard the shifting professional landscape can be on the body. For more tips and best practices, or to schedule an appointment for wrist pain, call 205-838-4747 or click here today!