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From the office and desk of the “Chair-Man” – Perry Arenson.

Desk Mistakes that Can Lead to Bad Posture and Pain

December 1st, 2020 | Best Office Furniture

While flexible work setup has been catching on in some industries before the pandemic, a huge number of corporate jobs still require office setup. Now, with the crisis, everyone is encouraged to stay home and work from home. It may be cool and fun at first. But eventually, you will start to notice its downsides especially if you have yet to invest in a good home office furniture which can lead to some pretty bad workstation and desk mistakes.

Since COVID has caught all of us off-guard, most employees have settled for makeshift workstations such as the kitchen or the bedroom. Or maybe, you do have a home office but have not set it up for long work hours. 

If you’ve been switching from home office to coworking space or coffee shop, and you’re now stuck at home, it won’t take long before you realize you’ve got the wrong desk height or your office chair lacks the support you need. Sitting in front of your computer screen for 40 hours weekly will definitely have you experiencing all sorts of pain – in your back, neck, legs, and arms. On some days, you may not feel it. Some days, oh you will.  

A bad office desk can lead to serious problems on your spine, which is your body’s reference point and attachment to every major muscle in your body. It helps you in efficiently keeping your balance and in supporting your body weight. Not using the right office furniture that enables you to keep correct posture can have more impact on your body than what most of us realize.

Here are the three (3) common desk mistakes you can make while setting up your work-from-home desk, which can sabotage your proper posture efforts.

 

Your monitor is not in line with your keyboard

This is common with desktop users. Make sure your keyboard and mouse are aligned with your monitor. If these devices are not aligned, your spine probably isn’t either. 

Your head should be in line with your body to keep it balanced. If your head is slightly twisted and your feet are pointing towards your monitor, it can overwork the muscles in your neck leading to neck and shoulder blade pain. To correct this, make sure your keyboard and mouse are in line with your monitor. For those using multiple monitors, position them in a way that limits head rotation.

Tilting the head up and down can overwork these muscles as well. Make sure your monitor is at eye level or slightly below it.

Invest in an adjustable height office desk that you can customize to your body’s preference. At Arenson Office Furniture, our Sit-to-Stand tables and desks move with you, when you want to, providing healthy movement throughout the day.

 

Your keyboard and mouse are too high

If you’ve positioned your keyboard and mouse too high, you are forced to scrunch your shoulders upward and flex your elbows above 90 degree angle. Your shoulder and arm muscle work so much harder, which lead to muscle fatigue as well as leads to neck and wrist pain.

To correct this, your keyboard should be at a height that keeps a bend in your elbow that follows a 90 degree angle or slightly below it. Your shoulders should be able to rest comfortably at your side and wrists gently on your work surface. 

 

You’re sitting more than you’re standing

If you think standing desks are just one of those crazy trends for a futuristic looking office, think again. There’s a good reason behind its invention. Standing while doing computer work allows you to keep your spine in normal alignment, which means less stress for your muscles. 

Sitting creates a greater demand on your back and neck muscles as well as makes your spine less effective. Your core muscles need to be engaged, which most people neglect. It’s very easy to fall into bad posture when sitting as you’re likely to slouch or stretch the neck forward.

Blood circulation is also reduced in a sitting position especially in the legs. This can place strain on the leg muscles particularly in the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles.

If buying a standing desk is not an option at the moment, make sure to take frequent, short breaks. Stand up and get moving. This can help reset your posture and give your muscles a break.

However, if the pain won’t go away after correcting these desk mistakes, call in professional medical help. The pain you’re experiencing may be a symptom of an underlying condition like carpal tunnel, which should be evaluated by a specialist.

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