Updated: Feb 28, 2022
When you think of stress in your life, do you think of your desk, where is your keyboard is placed or how you repeatedly move to use your mouse?
Let's talk macro trauma and micro-trauma in relation to stress or injury?.
Macro traumas are when you're snowboarding, take a bad fall on your shoulder and tear your rotator cuff that needs to be surgically repaired. Micro traumas are those NASTY little daily repetitive stress syndromes that create the MOST problems - a poor ergonomic workstation leads to repetitive stress syndromes AKA cumulative trauma disorders.
So let's talk about how quality longevity is impacted by continual stress and how we can begin to reduce stress in your life with a proper ergonomic workstation.
1. Ideal Sitting Keyboard Height: The ideal placement of your keyboard is 1.5 inches above your thighs with your wrist with/in what we refer to as a "negative tilt" to the keyboard. This reduces strain in the neck, upper trapezius, and shoulders and reduces strain in the carpal tunnel. You also don't want the far side of the keyboard away from you to be tilted up, this places the wrist and/in extension in/and the greatest amount of compression.
2. Ideal Placed Monitor: The first thought whenever I say this is height. Align the top of the
monitor at or slightly below eye level. Height is an easy fix and can be done with a stack of books.
The other problem is many of you use multiple monitors. The optimal placement of side-by-side monitors should only produce about 30 degrees of rotation total left and right. When looking at a monitor, the maximum head rotation is either 35 degrees left or right. So once you find the central line when sitting neutral, the most you should rotate your head to look at your monitor is 35° left or right.
3. Ideal Mouse Placement: To reduce strain on the neck, upper trapezius, and shoulder, have the mouse directly over the numerical keypad of your keyboard. This will keep the upper trapezius relaxed and reduce constant and prolonged contraction of the rotator cuff muscles on the back of the shoulder blade, which are engaged when reaching up and over.
For quality products to reduce stress and work towards a more efficient ergonomic workstation, we partner with the folks at Humanscale: www.humanscale.com. If you use our name for reference, they will give you a significant discount (we do not get any kickback from this other than a good working relationship). Reach out to Jeremy Beall at firstname.lastname@example.org @ 202.604.6283 and mention my name when placing your order over the phone.
If you have any questions about your workstation, ask me the next time you are in the office or reply to this email with a photo of your workstation.
See you the next time you are in the office. Call and schedule an appointment today, 703.465.1213. Work well and good luck on your path to "Quality Longevity."
P.S. Here are links for additional resources
Sitting Ergonomic Guidelines (Scroll to Ergonomic Sitting Guidelines)