Ergonomics and Upper Back Pain

So while there is not usually one reason only for pain that comes on slowly, our repeated postures and actions play a large role in getting us there.  As I have said so many times you are probably sick of it, problems including upper back pain, are usually cumulative and build over time (unless you have an acute injury). Poor ergonomics and upper back pain are related to each other ; In fact ergonomics can be linked to all sorts of different body pain but here we will focus on upper back.

The way we sit at our computer desk for hours per day definitely plays a role in joint health. There are ways to make the impact less in almost all situations and help prevent things like upper back pain (and of course other pain).

Ergonomics and upper back pain tips and tricks

So, there are some easy quick tips for desk ergonomics that help the upper back. In this newsletter and blog post we will focus on the ones for upper back pain. Later will address lower back pain in another post when we talk more about the lower back.  So some quick points to check on your desk:

  • Monitor at or above (even better) eye level. This means if you have a laptop you need a monitor riser and a wired or wireless keyboard and mouse. Trust me the money invested in these is worth it.
  • Shoulders should be at rest and arms in the 90/90 position (meaning you should have a 90 degree bend at the elbow and shoulder at rest with little to no forward flexion)
  • Use the Posture medic 15 min every hour to help train upright posture – this may mean you need to raise your monitor even more as you get better! Don’t be afraid to do that!
  • If you have the ability and means get a sit/stand desk and change position every hour or two – remember cumulative trauma is the thing that causes problems so don’t let them accumulate so long!
an example of good desk ergonomics


Please share this newsletter with anyone you think it may be helpful for!  Here is the link to the blog post to make it easy to access: