Back Pain Work Ergonomics

Monday, July 11, 2011

Heavy or repetitive lifting are associated with low back pain, but improper desk setup at home or work can also promote low back pain symptoms. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this possible contributing factor in the 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The chair you use can be a major factor or contributor in back pain. Look for multiple adjustability options and not just an ergonomic chair label.

The height of the back of the chair should reach approximately mid-shoulder blade level. Adjust the seat height so that your desktop is approximately at elbow height, wrists parallel with elbows or slightly below, especially with keyboard use. Adjust seat angle to position knees just below hip height to promote the inward curve of the low back.

Backrest angle should allow for slight recline to reduce force to low back discs. Scoot yourself to the back of the seat and position chair close to desktop to allow elbows to rest closer to your sides.

Align computer and/or items you work with in front of you and avoid excessive reaching, especially twisting motions.

Occasional standing back bends or simple position changes can help reduce the effects of prolonged sitting on your low back by encouraging the natural inward lumbar curve.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.