#15 A Spine-Safe Computer Workstation
Spine shape research sheds a great deal of light and understanding upon discussions of how to sit at a computer and how best to configure a computer workstation. Wolff's Law (see Blog #3) demands that we sit correctly in order to avoid deformity and the complaints the precede it. Please study the above pictures to see if you can guess where these workers hurt? The men moan about chronic low back pain and the woman complains of upper back and neck pain. Their complaints are related to the mechanical factors of their work tasks and the discomfort is both avoidable and not harmless. It's their body warning them of unwanted structural changes and eventual damage.
Please view the sitting videos on this website. You will notice that the young woman is sitting uprightly with her lumbar curve securely supported at the correct height above the seat and with a support shape that matches the shape of her spine. The footrest is essential because it supports the lower extremities, positions ankles and knees correctly, and helps keep the spine safely positioned against the spine support.
The height of the chair and the height of the desktop must be adjusted so that the axis of the elbows, which must be bent to 90 degrees during keyboarding, is at the same elevation as the Enter Key. The monitor must be adjusted for height, viewing distance and angle so that it fosters correct head position and therefore protects neck and spine shape. Getting used to sitting correctly while working at a computer takes a few days but is always worth the effort, and will continue to be valuable for the rest of one's career and lifetime.