90-90-90 Rule of Desktop Ergonomics

         My home workstation! Throw a pillow on the chair to make your desk/dining table more ergo-friendly. 

         My home workstation! Throw a pillow on the chair to make your desk/dining table more ergo-friendly. 

Ergonomic assessments are becoming more and more popular. Companies are becoming more interested in it as a worker's comp money-saving tactic, but also (I'm hoping) because they are interested in preventing their employees from getting injured. Many people also do not realize that they do not need to wait until their company decides to order them ergo assessments! Speak up and ask for one yourself! Whether you want this assessment done for prevention's sake or because you already are experiencing discomfort at your workplace, getting an assessment done can help your health and wellbeing tremendously. Imagine going through a full work day with less neck, wrist, and/or back pain - great, right? 

Although the practice of ergonomics is vast, the 90-90-90 Rule is one that you can easily assess as you sit at your workplace. By considering this 90-90-90 rule, you are lessening the risk of developing or exacerbating musculoskeletal disorders, stress disorders, and fatigue. Try it out with the following instructions:

  1. Ask someone to take a picture of you while you're sitting at your desk.
  2. Take a look at your picture and answer the following questions: 
    • Are your elbows at 90+ deg angles? (Do your upper arm and forearm form a 90+ deg angle?) 
    • Are your hips at 90+ deg angles as you sit in your chair? (Do your back and legs form a 90+ angle?)
    • Are your knees at 90+ deg angles? (Do your thighs and shins form a 90+ deg angle?)
  3. Make some simple adjustments.
    • Can you lower your arm rests? Or raise your chair so that your wrists aren't above your elbows? 
    • Are you hunching forward in your chair as you sit? Can you remind yourself to sit all the way back in your seat more often? 
    • Do you need to place some books on the floor? 

Let me know how you do! And feel free to contact me with any questions! Remember that there is no completely right way to sit that works for every individual. The 90-90-90 rule is only one of the many many ways to address ergonomics. Some people do well with this rule, whereas others prefer a variation of it. The best way to figure out what works for you is to try it. Please keep in mind also that the biggest way to prevent injuries at a sedentary desktop job is actually to keep moving. Try to get up at least once an hour to move your body, stretch, go to the bathroom, or get some water. Check out the blog posts on work/break ratioscomputer timers and stretches for further information.