Ergonomics for Work & Learning

Creating an ergonomically correct workstation or desk for work or learning is important for our overall health and critical to avoiding muscle strains, forward head posture, joint pain and other issues.

Could you start by describing what the term ergonomics means?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Ergonomics is defined as designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment.

What are some common health issues people develop as a result of poor ergonomics?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Poor ergonomics leads to muscle strain, muscle imbalances, and fatigue. Some examples are carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, shoulder pain, elbow pain, trigger finger, low back pain, and most common forward head posture that can cause neck pain and headaches.

For those working from home on their computer or mobile device, what are some basic things they can do to make sure they have a healthy working environment?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Most important, in my opinion, is a standup workstation. If that’s not an option, then you want to raise the monitor, so the midpoint is at eye level, or make sure that the monitor is no more than 12 to 18 inches away. The monitor should be directly in front of you, and when sitting, the top of the thigh closest to the hip should always be higher than the knees and also too, you want to make sure that you’re not leaning to either the left or the right.

Many students who are distance learning just want to be comfortable at home. What would be the ideal position for students, so they are not straining their neck or back too much?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Either create a standup station or a desk with an adjustable chair and a laptop stand.

Lastly, can you describe what tech neck is and why people of all ages should take it seriously?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Tech neck is caused by being in a forward head posture for an extended period of time. So, whether it’s looking down at a phone, an iPad or a laptop, the person takes on that forward head posture as their normal posture even though it really is abnormal. Tech neck can cause neck pain, headaches, shoulder, arm, or even hand pain.

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If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Scott Gardner visit or call 973-614-9256 to schedule an appointment.

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