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9 Ways to Make Your Workday Easier With RA

4. Rethink Your Chair

Make sure your chair has lower back support. Ask for an ergonomic chair that supports your lower spine, reclines, and rotates or swivels so you can move easily from one task to another.

If your chair doesn't have back support, put a pillow or rolled-up towel between your lower back and the chair. Sit straight with your back and shoulders against the back of the chair.

You may also need to adjust the height of your desk and chair. You should be able to sit with your feet flat on the floor, with your knees slightly higher than your hips. Prop your feet on a stool or book, if necessary.

5. Rethink Your Computer

Try to keep your elbows at a right angle and your wrists relaxed when you type. Keyboard wrist rests add support. Tilt the keyboard down and slightly away from you to take the strain off your wrists. The computer monitor should be directly in front of you (not off to the side) at eye level.

6. Troubleshoot Your Telephone

Don’t cradle the telephone receiver between your shoulder and ear. It leads to shoulder and back pain, and fatigue. If you're on the phone a lot, use a headset receiver instead.

7. Lift the Right Way

Use your largest and strongest joints to lift items. For instance, always use your leg muscles, bending at the knees, not the waist. Steady yourself with a heavy chair or other piece of furniture if you need to.

Rely on your arms to lift rather than your hands. Use your palms or forearms - don’t grip them with your fingers. Hold your arms and the item close to your body so you don’t strain your back.

8. Ask a Pro

Your employer may be able to set up a professional evaluation of your workspace, so ask your HR department. An occupational or physical therapist can also help you learn how to do tasks on the job with less stress to your joints.

9. Consider Assistive Devices

These gadgets, which include big-grip pens and long drawer handles, are made for people with arthritis and other joint problems. An electric stapler or pencil sharpener may be easier to use than manual ones.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on May 18, 2015
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