About 50% of Americans work at a desk. It is no wonder that we Americans have so many health problems related to a sedentary lifestyle. A good number of my patients can eliminate much of their neck and back pain by making a few simple changes at their desk. Most are shocked to find that they are causing many of their own aches and pains, not from lifting, pushing or pulling something, but by just sitting at their desk while plunking away at a keyboard. As with most things in life, try to add some variety. Make an effort to get out of your chair every hour or even more frequently if you can. Being in the same position will distort your muscles forcing them to “learn” a new length. When you sit for long periods of time, the back muscles get longer and weaker; the hip flexor muscles (primarily the psoas) get shorter, as do the oh-so-infamous hamstrings. While at your desk remember the 90-120-90 rule, that is your knees, hips and elbows should rest at 90, 120, and 90 degrees respectively. The next area to be addressed is the position of the computer monitor. The computer monitor should be square in front of you, with the center of the screen at least 6 inches above your line of sight. Putting the monitor in this position puts the spine in a neutral position, minimizing the work that your neck muscles have to do through out the day.
This posture is much better, the head it looking
straight ahead and the chin is tilted slightly
upward. The shoulders are back, and the elbows
are comfortably bent. Notice the computer
monitor is elevated above the office worker’s
By making these few changes to your workplace, you will probably alleviate many of the headaches, neck and low back pain that many nine-to-fivers have when the day is over.
-Britton A. Taylor, DC
“To keep you at your best, for the rest of your life.”
Taylor Chiropractic Center