7-Minute Solution: Avoid Neck and Back Pain at the Computer

Dr. David Rempel, professor of occupational medicine at UC San Francisco, on ­setting up an ergonomically correct workstation.

By Dr. David Rempel

1. Make sure your chair has comfortable back and arm support.

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 Adjust the height so that your feet are flat on the floor, you have legroom to spare, and your eyes line up with the top of your monitor (the screen should be a bit ­lower if you wear bifocals).

2. Position the screen an arm’s length away, avoiding glare from windows and lights.

 The keyboard should be at elbow height and the keys easy to press. Use the desk or armrests to support your forearms. 

3. Keep the mouse close to the keyboard.

 To avoid dragging, which can lead to arm pain, clean the roller ball regularly; for some, a mouse pad may help. 

4. Check your posture.

 Relax the muscles in your forearms, shoulders, and neck by sitting straight up or leaning back in your chair. Stand up and stretch every 20 minutes.

Article courtesy of Parade.com

Article written by Dr. David Rempel
Professor of occupational medicine at UC San Francisco