Gone are the days of the 90/90 rule with workstation. As more companies move to a flexible workstation and try to minimize the impact of prolonged sitting, physiotherapists play a crucial role in creating a more productive environment. Here are some of the latest ideas -
Reclined propped position for keyboarding
The 'elbow floating position' for keyboarding, where your elbows are beside your body but unsupported. A variation on this which can assist in reducing neck tension is then 'reclined propped position' where you move the keyboard further away from you and support the forearms along the desk. You may need to slightly reduce the height of the chair for this position to ensure you stay supported in your seat.
Note that even when your work station is set up well, it is important to break this sitting position regularly (every 45-60 mins at least) to stand up, walk around and stretch. Also consider a work station that can be converted to a standing work station as this helps create variation.
Once you have set up the work station along these guidelines, consider the overall use of the work station in terms of the reach zones:
Primary reach zone
Things you are constantly using – you don’t want to reach at all to use these. This zone is usually best for the keyboard and the mouse.
Secondary reach zone
The things you are using semi frequently and don’t want to be reaching far to get. Common examples are the phone and commonly accessed files.
Outer reach zone
The things you use only occasionally. These can provide a good excuse to get up out of your seat. For example drink bottles, stationary, or infrequently accessed files and documents.
Standing work stations
The same principles apply except that instead of the reclined posture shown in the chair, an upright
standing posture is adopted with the head balanced over the centre of gravity. As with sitting, it is recommended to break this position regularly (every 45-60 mins at least) to sit down and/or stretch. With standing work stations it is also important to ensure you store items in an easy to reach space to avoid excess bending, twisting or over reaching to obtain items.
Be sure to use these principles to good effect and enjoy the difference it will make to your body and mind. Should you be unsure how to apply these principles, or require more detailed information, consult with Pearce at Thornleigh Performance Physiotherapy.