Many of us spend long hours at the office, which can often mean long hours sitting at our desks. If we aren’t sitting properly, that can lead to stress and strain on our bodies and even bigger health concerns. The good news is… being ergonomically correct is easy, as long as you know what needs to be done. That’s why we have broken down the steps to help you re-design your work space and promote good office ergonomics.
Setting Up Your Work Space:
Office Chair Seat
When selecting an office chair you want to choose one which is well padded and will support your thighs and hips.
The correct backrest will fully support your back and have appropriate lumbar support when you are sitting upright or slightly reclining.
Office Chair Height
You want to adjust the height of your office chair so your feet are fully supported by the floor. If this isn’t possible you will want to use a footrest to keep your spine aligned. You want to make sure your knees are at about the same height as your hips.
Chair Arms and Keyboard Tray
You should be able to type on a keyboard with your arms rested comfortably at your sides (your shoulders should hang naturally), and with your hands at or just below your elbows. This can be done by using an ergonomic keyboard tray, and can help reduce stress and strain on your wrists, as well as the chance of developing Carpal Tunnel syndrome.
Place your keyboard and mouse close to one another and at the same level. You should easily be able to reach the home keys with your elbows at between 90 and 120 degrees. Ensure that while typing, your hands, wrists, and forearms are in-line with one another and parallel to the floor.
Raise your monitor to be at eye level so you are not tilting your neck up or down while you work. You can achieve this by using monitor arms. You also want a slight tilt to your monitor, about 10 to 20 degrees. Lastly, be sure you are a safe distance from your screen; you want to be no less than the distance from your middle finger to your elbow away from your monitor.
Other Ergonomic Tips:
Avoid a single light source because it can tire your eyes. Also try to avoid any lights that produce a glare on your screen.
If you use the phone often, you may want to use headphones or a headset instead of continuously cradling your phone between your head and shoulder, which can hurt your neck.
Keep items you use a lot within a comfortable reach, so you don’t have to strain to reach them. If you need to reference printed materials while typing, you can reduce neck strain by keeping them at eye level by using a document holder.
If you use a laptop you may want to invest in a separate keyboard tray, mouse and monitor. This will allow you to have your work space set up ergonomically while utilizing your laptop.
Even when you are sitting ergonomically you still may feel a little tense from time to time. Stretching the different parts of your body will relieve that tension and help you relax.
Give Yourself a Break
It is important to give your body a break throughout the day. Every 30 minutes or so, stand up and walk around for a few minutes; go get a drink of water or at least step away from your work space. You will feel better and it will give you a boost in productivity.
Stand Up For Yourself
We know that living a sedentary lifestyle can be bad for our health, so if you want an ergonomic work space that allows you to easily switch between sitting and standing throughout the day, you should consider an adjustable height standing desk. Not only can a standing desk help you stave off sitting disease, it can help you boost your productivity and even shave off a few pounds.
Following these steps can easily turn your work space into an ergonomic one that will leave you feeling your best. It’s important to make changes as soon as you can, rather than waiting until you have a health concern; prevention is the best medicine!
Do you have any tips about being ergonomic in the workplace, or at home? Was there anything that took you a while to get used to? Let us know in the comments below!