• Ken Belveal

Save your neck. Set up your desk correctly

Nagging aches and pains could be caused by your office or home desk not being set up correctly. Save your neck and set up your desk correctly. Follow these 10 easy steps.


According to a report by United Healthcare, 71% of employees spend at least 3 hours a day looking at device screens and nearly 10% estimate employees are on screens at least 12 hours a day. With all that time spent looking at a computer, it is important that the desk is ergonomically set up. Ergonomics definition: an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.


The lack of ergonomics can lead to a flat low back, extra-curved middle back with hunched shoulders and forward head. The spine does not like being straight or extra curvy. It is more comfortable being curved in just the right places and with just enough curve. A comfortable spine is a happy spine. A happy spine is pain-free. Here are some tips to make the spine happy.


  1. Thighs parallel to the floor and pointing forward. If your chair is too high and you cannot adjust it any lower, place books under your feet for support. Helps distribute the weight of your body evenly on your sitting bones.

  2. Feet flat on the floor. Prevents tension in the calf muscles.

  3. Keep legs uncrossed. This may avert tilting of the spine.

  4. Elbows bent 90 degrees. Wards off elevation of the shoulders which stress the neck.

  5. Forearms parallel to the floor and wrists level. Fends off carpal tunnel syndrome as the wrists are not stuck in extension causing those muscles to overwork.

  6. Lean against the back of the chair to support the curve of the low back. If there is not enough support for your low back to keep its curve, or you are sitting on a kitchen chair, place a rolled-up towel behind your back.

  7. Keep top of monitor level with eyes. This is to prevent neck extension which puts stress on the back of the neck causing tightness in the upper back and tension headaches.

  8. Keep eyes 18-24 inches away from screen to avoid leaning forward to view screen. This will prevent what is called vulture neck – a tightness and shortening of the posterior neck muscles.

  9. Keep document holder’s same height as computer screen. Averts neck flexion which puts stress on the back of the neck.

  10. Place items within easy reach. This avoids bending and twisting of spine.


Happy Typing and enjoy!

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