Ergonomics is one of the first things users address when confronted with a RSI such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It is really important to setup your computer workstation properly. Improperly setup computer desks cause extra strain on your hands, wrists, back, and body. Even the most ergonomic setup is not going to prevent overuse, but it is a small step in the right direction.
We have tips for selecting ergonomic computer seating. Key elements to look for in a new ergonomic office chair are:
- Adjustable Seat Height – Make sure you can adjust your seat low enough so that your feet are 100% flat on the floor. Minimize the pressure between the seat and your thighs. Better chairs are available with different sized height cylinders.
- Arms – We recommend you avoid arm rests. Some people have developed problems with them.
- Backrest height and angle Adjustability – People who sit upright should select a short back rest. Those who recline or have slouching problems should consider a tall backrest. The backrest should be narrow enough so that your elbows don’t hit it when you are using the computer. Set the backrest height so that it supports your lower back, while still allowing you to swivel. The chair in the picture above is a special ergonomic chair with a pear shaped rest designed to allow your elbows, maximum clearance.
- Chair Recline – A well designed chair will allow you to recline it and adjust the amount of play.
- Seat pan Adjustability along with angle – Make sure that you can push the seat back towards the backrest so that you have one two four inches of space between it and the back of your leg.
- Lumbar support and Adjustability – Better chairs have adjusters to support your lumbar region.
- Seat type and size – More advanced chairs have different sized seats. Smaller folks should purchase smaller seats, those with wide hips or heavier weight should opt for a more supportive material. Different types of fabric and cushioning are sometimes also available.
I have found that driving exacerbates my RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome. It is pretty logical as driving involves use of the hands. I have tried to minimize my driving by getting others to drive, walking, or taking public transportation. Try not standing and holding on while on the bus or subway as this will cause the same problems.
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Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals and are not qualified to provide medical information.