Allan Dalziel DC MMCA MCC
Registered McTimoney Chiropractor - Clarkston - Glasgow
McTimoney Chiropractic - “Gentle And Effective Treatment For The Whole Body”
Self Help To Prevent Back Pain And Other Related Ailments

Prevention is better than cure! It is a fact that four out of five people will have a back problem at some time in their lives. There are things that you can effectively do now in order to minimise the chance of you having back problems, or to prevent them recurring.

In The Office : Sit in a position where your spine is in the same alignment as when you are standing. Sit on an angled forward seat and raise the chair until your feet are firmly on the ground with your knees below your hip level.

On The Telephone : Stand up and move a few steps forwards or backwards.

Computer Operators : When using a keyboard the upper arms should not move forward more than 10 degrees from the vertical. The VDU screen should be an arm’s length away. If possible use the chair arm rest.

In The Car : Do not over reach for the pedals. Recline the seat back by 10 degrees and ensure your lower spine is well supported. Relax your shoulders and hold the steering wheel halfway or just below halfway.

In The Home : Most lounge furniture is far too soft. Firm up the seats and back. Vary where you sit, occasionally lie on the floor, stand up and walk about for a few minutes.

Lifting And Laying : Make your legs do the hard work. Bend your knees or kneel and use the thighs to press upwards. Never lift and twist at the same time.

Playing Sports : Always warm up before a game, and if you use a club, bat, or whatever, balance your body beforehand by using your “other” hand.

The Workstation
The desk and chair.
Most desks are of a fixed height, so we will assume we are stuck with this.
The chair should be adjustable for height and seat angle. If there are arms they should adjust up & down as well as in & out. Where the arms of the chair would prevent you from positioning the chair close to the desk, the chair should be without arms.
Adjust the chair to its highest position.
Tilt the chair downwards by about 15 degrees or use a wedge cushion
Lower the chair so that your horizontal forearms are resting on the desk. This is the correct height.
If the feet are not touching the floor, then place a footstool under the feet.

Doing written work.
The angle of the work on the desk should be tilted down towards you by about 15 degrees. This can be achieved in a number of ways:
A desk which tilts downwards
An adjustable lectern
An empty file
Most people rest the weight of the upper body on the non-dominant arm when doing written work. As the day progresses the posture deteriorates and the writer gets lower and lower. To avoid this, sit at a slight angle to the desk, with the dominant arm closer and the other further away from the desk. Thus there is nowhere for the non-dominant arm to rest and the ‘heel’ of the non-dominant hand can push against the edge the desk to maintain erect posture. If making notes whilst on the telephone, use a large piece of paper to write on. Thus the non-dominant arm can hold the handset and the dominant arm will be resting on the paper whilst writing. This means that the telephone will not be held between the ear and the shoulder.

Working at a computer.
Ensure that the monitor is directly in front of you.
Ensure that the keyboard is directly in front of you & not tilted up on its little feet.
There are regulations which state that a computer operator should only work at the computer for 50 / 60 min. This is to protect the eyes
As far as your back is concerned, you should take every opportunity to change position. Get up and walk the length of the telephone wire when you are on the telephone whenever possible.
Frequently change the angle of your chair slightly so that you are not always in the same position.
If you can touch type the top of the monitor should be level with your eyes.
If you cannot touch type the monitor should be as low as possible - remove the hard drive to the side of the monitor. This will make it easier to look from keyboard to monitor by just using the eyes rather than craning the neck. A wrist raise is important if you rest the wrists on the desk.
Allan Dalziel DC MMCA MCC - McTimoney Chiropractor McTimoney Chiropractic Clinic
44 Brackenrig Crescent, Waterfoot, Glasgow G76 0HF
0141 644 1111       07903 553521
General Chiropractic Council Registration Number 00855
Monday to Friday Appointments : 9 am to 8 pm By Arrangement
Saturday Appointments : 9 am To 1 pm By Arrangement
Appointment Times Are Flexible To Accommodate Patient’s Needs