neck and upper back shoulder elbow and forearm wrist and hand lower back
lower back
low back
Relieving Discomfort Through Workstation Setup
Relieving Discomfort Through Body Mechanics
Micro-break Stretches
   The 24 bones of your back (vertebrae) are separated by cushions called discs. Each disc consists of a jelly-like core surrounded by a hard outer ring. The spinal cord runs through the center of the vertebrae, and nerve roots branch out to your arms and legs. The vertebrae and discs are held together by an intricate system of ligaments and muscles.

Sustained sitting with a slumped low back, and the subsequent lack of movement, deprives the spinal tissues of nutrients, and leads to the gradual breakdown of the low back tissues. Over time, this can cause the jelly-like substance inside the disc to bulge backwards into the spinal cord. Slumping can also strain the muscles and ligaments of the back. Symptoms might include numbness, pain, or weakness in the back or throughout the legs.

Relieving Discomfort Through Workstation Setup:
Chair Adjusted Incorrectly An incorrectly adjusted chair can lead to sustained slumping which can increase strain on the muscles, ligaments, and discs in your lower back.
Chair Height: Place your feet flat on the floor
(or on a foot rest).

Position the chair height so that your hips are 1-2" higher than your knees.

Seat Pan Position: Tilt seat pan slightly forward (only as far as comfortable). A foam wedge or small folded towel placed in the back half of the seat can be used instead.

Adjust the front of your seat pan (if possible) to within 2" of the back of your knees.

These adjustments will facilitate a neutral spine and distribute body weight evenly throughout your back and legs.

Armrest Position: Adjust armrests 1-2" below elbows, when elbows are at right angles. Elbows should not bear weight on armrests while typing.

Backrest Position: Adjust lumbar support to fit comfortably in the small low back arch (a small rolled up towel may provide additional support).

Recline chair only when not typing.

Monitor Too Low As monitor height decreases, low back slumping usually increases, causing strain and discomfort to your lower back.
Monitor Position: Centered, 18-24" away. You should always be able to reach your monitor.

Monitor Height: Top of viewing screen should be about eye level (adjust higher or lower 2-4" as desired).

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Relieving Discomfort Through Body Mechanics:
Sustained sitting, especially while slumping, causes a gradual breakdown of muscles, ligaments, and discs in your lower back. Over time, this gradual breakdown of tissue can lead to significant injury.

Correct neutral position

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Micro-break Stretches:
  • No pain should be felt during the stretch. If any stretch hurts, reduce the intensity or do not do the stretch at all.
  • Check with your doctor before stretching if you have an injury or discomfort in the part of your body you're stretching.
  • Hold each stretch for 5-10 seconds.
  • Stretch at least a few minutes every hour.
Hamstring Stretch
STEP 1) Standing, put your left leg straight out in front of you (can be performed with your heel on 2-6" step or flat on ground)

STEP 2) Lift your left toes up so only your heel touches the ground or step

STEP 3) Keeping your back as straight as possible, bend forward from your hip; a mild, comfortable stretch should be felt at the back of your thigh

STEP 4) Hold stretch for 10 seconds, release slowly

STEP 5) Switch sides

Standing Back Bend
STEP 1) Place your hands on your hips and your feet shoulder width apart; slowly lean backwards

STEP 2) Look up towards the roof, hold for 10 seconds; a mild, comfortable stretch should be felt through your low and mid-back

STEP 3) Hold stretch for 10 seconds, release slowly

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