Table of Contents

Ergonomic Tips

  1. Sit with your knees about level with your hips. The chair seat should fit about 2/3 of the length of your thighs, feet should rest flat on the floor and your knees should fit easily under desk or table top.
  2. Adjust your computer screen and working materials so you aren’t straining your neck to look up or down.
  3. When standing for long periods of time, stand on a soft surface and rest one leg on a chair rung, telephone book, or stool to keep one foot a few inches higher than the other. Alternate feet.
  4. Place items that you use most often in your workstation within arms reach.
  5. Keep frequently used items on shelves that are at a height between your shoulders and hips.
  6. Do not twist or bend while doing tasks, especially while lifting objects.
  7. If you must move a heavy object by yourself, pushing is better than pulling.

Simple lifestyle changes can decrease your risk of back injury.

DO

DO NOT

  • Use a speaker phone or a headset
  • Switch heavy objects you carry from side to side.
  • Leave your wallet in the car, in a desk drawer, or carry it in a front pocket.
  • Sit up straight. Use a lumbar pillow or rolled up towel in the hollow of your back. You can also use an exercies ball as a chair.
  • Get sufficient rest on a bed that provides support. Firmer mattresses are usually more supportive.
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. This exact amount may be debatable, but most people do not drink enough water.
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel when driving.
  • Consult a NUCCA Spine Doctor if you injure your back or limbs.
  • Cradle a phone between your ear and shoulder or always use the same ear when talking.
  • Carry a heavy bag on one shoulder.
  • Carry your wallet in your back pocket.
  • Slouch in your chair, hunch your shoulders, or keep your head tilted or rotated to one side.
  • Sleep on your stomach or a sagging mattress.
  • Drink too much caffeine, soda, or alcohol.
  • Cross your legs or drive leaning to one side.
  • Think the pain will “just go away” when you are injured.