Working (or studying) Medical Transcription may not seem as physically taxing as working as a construction laborer. But desk jobs can actually wreak havoc on our bodies. For those of us who sit behind a desk for hours at a time, having a comfortable workspace and good posture is key to achieving optimal productivity. When our bodies don’t seem to cooperate, we tend to misdirect our focus away from work and towards the physical pain we’re experiencing.
Here are some tools to help you improve your posture while working or studying:
It’s been said that sitting is the new smoking. Desk jobs require us to sit for long periods of time, which can lead to cardiovascular problems and muscle strain. Here at CanScribe, we love using standing desks! In fact, we’ve even written a previous blog post about them. While most standing desks often come with high price tags, you don’t need a fat wallet to make the switch from sitting to standing. We’ve found a great article about how to easily convert any desk into a standing desk. Click here to check it out! Try using a standing desk for a few weeks. You’ll be sure to feel a difference in your posture.
If you use a laptop instead of a desktop computer, you are probably spending most of your day hunched over a screen. To maintain proper posture and prevent neck strain, the height of your monitor should be at eye level. If a standing desk isn’t an option, you could also consider purchasing a laptop stand. These are much cheaper than standing desks and a good compromise if standing isn’t for you. Paired with a comfortable and supportive chair, a laptop stand will help prevent you from slouching over a screen and alleviate the “cramping” feelings in your neck and shoulders.
Do ergonomic keyboards drive you nuts? You’re not alone. Ergonomic keyboards can be difficult getting used to, as our muscle memories are more adapted to the standard size keyboard. If you aren’t familiar, ergonomic keyboards are computer keyboards designed to minimize muscle strain. They are typically constructed in a V-shape, allowing you to type with your hands at a more natural angle. Although they take some time getting used to, ergonomic keyboards have been known to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and other types of muscle strain common with keyboarding. For the Medical Transcriptionist, having an ergonomic keyboard can make a huge difference in your posture. They are also thought to increase typing speeds! If you don’t already use one, don’t be scared to try it out! Just make sure you have plenty of practice getting used to the new layout before using it for your transcriptions.
Many people don’t realize that having a footrest can make a great difference in maintaining good posture. If your feet do not rest flat on the floor, if your desk is too high, or even if you’re a bit short (like me), it’s a good idea to use a footrest. Using a footrest will ease pressure on your legs and hips and give you better circulation. You can even use a small stool or an old telephone book (because who uses those anymore, right?).
Bonus: Foam Roller
While a foam roller won’t improve your posture, it will help massage those knots and kinks that build up after too much time spent sitting. Check out this helpful resource for simple foam rolling and trigger point release moves.
Looking for more of a release? Yoga is a great way to soothe tension and build better posture. We’ve previously written a blog post on how yoga can improve your overall work performance. Check it out!
As someone who spends large amounts of time behind a desk, it’s important to ensure you have a comfortable workspace and good posture. Your body (and productivity levels) will thank you.