How often do you catch yourself slouching over your computer screen or patient chair?  Office Administrators spend most of their days at the front desk while dentists, assistants and hygienists are working chairside with patients.  Improper positioning will put stress on your neck, back, elbows, knees, and ankles.
For our front office teams, your monitor should be directly in front of you, arm’s length away, with the top of the screen at eye level.
Your shoulders should be relaxed and arms at rest when using the keyboard.  Be sure to keep your wrists in a neutral position.
Sitting for long periods of time can place increased pressure on your spine. Because of this, standing desks have become popular.  If you use a standing desk, be sure to stand on a specialized mat to protect your knees and hips.
Part of working the front office is greeting and checking patients in.  This is a perfect opportunity to get up! Stand up and greet your patients!
Try to walk around at least once an hour.  You might have a smart watch that can alert you to get your steps in.  Set an alert for every 50 minutes to remind you to get up and move.
In addition to walking, sneak in some stretching throughout your day.  There are quite a few easy stretches to keep your neck, shoulders and back loose.  Keeping your core tight by sitting up straight will relieve back strain.  And don’t forget your wrists!  Hours at the keyboard can be wreak havoc over time.  Be sure to take flexibility breaks throughout your day.

Our dentists, hygienists and assistants should be aware of their chair positioning. Ensure your chair is adjustable for height and lumbar support. Position the chair height to allow for a neutral, relaxed posture to minimize strain on your neck and back.  The patient chair can be adjusted to minimize those awkward positions that we often find ourselves in. Position your materials and instruments so they are within easy reach, thus reducing unnecessary twisting and stretching.

Proper ergonomics will optimize the physical well-being of the entire team. It will help reduce the risk for occupational injuries, reduce fatigue, increase job satisfaction, and enhance overall productivity.