Workers' Compensation Blog

MAN with a Brace on his Wrist

How to Configure Your Desk to Avoid Repetitive Strain Injuries

Board Certified Doctors Treating Repetitive Strain Injuries in the Dallas Area

It is a dangerous misconception that office and desk workers are safe from injury while at the workplace. Not only are they susceptible to fall injuries and lift injuries just as other workers are, but they are also in danger of repetitive strain injuries (RSI) caused by sitting too long in the wrong position and making repetitive movements. These injuries can have serious consequences on your health and your career – and could lead to chronic or permanent conditions.

In this article, we will take a closer look at how you can configure your desk and office space to prevent repetitive strain injuries, while staying healthy and comfortable in your office.

  • Perfect your keyboard and mouse position. The ideal place for your keyboard is one or two inches above your thighs, so that your elbows are at ninety degree angles. Your mouse should be as close as possible to your keyboard and on the same level to minimize the distance your hand has to travel between the mouse and keys.
  • Get the right chair. First and foremost, your chair should allow your back to rest in a neutral position, with your spine in an S shape (not a straight line and not in a C shape) – a chairback designed specifically for lumbar support may be best. Secondly, you want the height of the chair to allow your feet to rest flat on the floor and your elbows to rest lightly on the armrests. Finally, you want your chair to swivel smoothly so that you minimize twisting your back to reach for objects or look around the office.
  • Adjust your monitor height. To prevent neck strain and eye pain, you do not want to be looking up at or down at your computer monitor. For desktops, you may need to elevate part of your desk. For laptops, you may need a special pedestal and wireless keyboard to achieve the correct configuration.
  • Think carefully as you organize the rest of your desk. Remarkably, details can matter. Where you place your cell phone and your cup of coffee can affect how your wrists and back feel over time. Neglecting to get a book stand if you often reference a book when you work may mean a struggle with chronic pain or tendonitis in a matter of months or years.

If you work at a large corporation, consider asking management if they have an ergonomics expert who can come in and evaluate your work area. Many larger companies understand that hiring someone to fix workstations can save them money when it comes to missed days, lost productivity, and workers’ compensation insurance down the road.

Recover From Your RSI at Our Dallas Medical Clinic for Injured Workers

At Work Injury MD, we understand all too well how a repetitive strain injury can sideline you in the workplace and in your own life. We invite you to meet with our physician and get on the path to health by utilizing our full-service clinic. Through thoughtful treatment, careful pain management, and physical therapy, we will have you feeling better and in the office before you know it. To schedule an appointment or learn more about our clinic, please contact us today.