For all of you desk jockeys out there or anyone who is addicted to Facebook or the Xbox, sitting properly in a chair can make a big difference to your back and neck pain. You may blame your chair, but even if you have no choice of which chair you can still make a difference in posture and therefore pain. Sit in a chair that is at least high enough for your knees to be level or below your hips. You would like for your weight to be transferred to the floor rather than just in your bottom. Make sure your feet are grounded solidly on the floor. If you cannot adjust your chair to be low enough, put a footstool or phone book under your feet to accomplish this. Sit all the way back in the chair so that you can get the benefit of back support. If you are too short for this, put a rolled up towel in the small of your back to fill that space.
Your arms should be in a relaxed position with elbows tucked into your sides and wrists in neutral. This should be true for both the keyboard AND the mouse! And the phone or papers etc. so that you are not slouching forward…. Make sure that you have good light so that you are not bending or adjusting to see the monitor.
To relieve pain, squeeze your shoulder blades together to “reset” your posture and get your head back on top of your body. Stand up at least every 30 minutes and sit back down. Consider a standing workstation with a footstool underneath to prop one foot at a time. If you are unable to have a standing workstation, at least consider taking all of your phone calls standing up or think through some of your daily tasks that you can do standing instead of sitting.
If I were looking at Helen at the picture shown, I would tell her to raise her chair, put a footstool under the desk, and scoot forward so that her elbows could stay tucked into her sides while she could still reach the keyboard. I would figure out a way to get the mouse close in as well, and we would play with the angle of the monitor so that she could look directly at it without tilting her head or getting a glare.
I hope this helps!!!