Petersen Physical Therapy provides office ergonomics service for Arizona since 1998. Our staff are trained Ergonomics Specialists, and have worked with many local and national organizations to help employers create a healthy and productive work environment.
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Don’t wait until you need physical therapy to address your office related pain or injury, call us at 480-833-1005 to find out more information about our office ergonomics services.
Continue reading for a few quick tips regarding your own office ergonomics:
Laptops are more and more common in computing for home, work and school. From a laptop ergonomics standpoint this leads to some ergonomics challenges that should be addressed. Here are a few quick hints on setting up a laptop correctly:
1. Purchase a laptop that is designed to meet your needs – Laptops can range from 2-10 pounds and measure between 11″-19″ in screen measurement. Laptops smaller than 15″ will have a keyboard that is smaller and can cause issues with people with big hands. Larger laptops begin to increase in weight and can be tiring to carry around if you a traveling with it often. Keep these things in mind when purchasing a laptop.
2. Consider backpack vs. shoulder bag for carrying laptop – While the backpack may not be as stylish, your back and shoulder will appreciate it if you travel with the laptop often. Make sure the back pack is the appropriate size for your laptop. Too big you could damage the laptop, too small…well good luck fitting it into the back pack. If you only go short distances transporting the laptop, a shoulder bag will work, but consider alternating shoulders when carrying the bag.
3. Big Projects – Whether it is school, work, or gaming, laptops are not designed to support good posture with use over long periods. If you are working on the laptop for over 20 minutes at a bout, it is recommended you get a separate keyboard and mouse and use the laptop as a monitor. Set the laptop up at a height and distance to encourage good posture.
While laptops and tablets are becoming more common in the workplace, desktop computers are still king. Addressing desktop ergonomics is much easier to set up to encourage proper posture. Here are a few hints on desktop setup.
1. Chair is the foundation – The proper chair will make your computing experience tolerable for those long projects. A chair that provides proper postural support will have adjustable seat height, adjustable armrests, and adjustable lumbar support.
2. Address desk height – The average computer workstation is ideally set up for the 6’4″ male. WHY? Well it is much easier for shorter people to fit under a desk that is bigger than for bigger people to fit in a smaller desk. A proper desk height encourages a 90 degree bend at the elbows with the upper arms in-line with the body. This means 95% of you will need to elevate your self to this posture or lower the work surface to you.
3. Monitor height – Monitor height should be set up so you are looking straight ahead, with good seated posture, at the top of the monitor. If you wear bifocals then the monitor may be slightly lower.
4. Remove the cords – If possible, purchase a desktop with cordless keyboard and mouse. This will allow you flexibility to put the keyboard and mouse where it needs to be even if the workstation has limited space. The keyboard and mouse should be close enough that you do not have to extend your arms forward to reach them.