Working behind a desk all day, you encounter a number of pains, such as…
- Stiff neck
- Back pain
- Tight Hips
And while you may not be able to change your work situation, setting up an ergonomic workspace can help with those other pains. Ergonomics, put simply, is the science of how people interact with their environment. By thoughtfully arranging our environment, we can help to reduce injury and improve workplace efficiency.
Your job is stressful enough. Dealing with pain and stiffness on top of that can be overwhelming. Setting up your workstation to be more ergonomic is your first line of defense against those aches and pains, and with a few simple tweaks, you can give your body a fighting chance.
Step 1: Create an Ergonomic Workspace With the Right Chair Adjustments
When it comes to chairs, there are a few things to consider. The height of your chair should allow your feet to rest flat on the floor while keeping your knees and hips about level height. This will help you to sit up straight with better posture. Adjust the height of your armrests so that your arms can hang naturally without having to raise or lower your shoulders.
Comfort is another consideration and is solely based on your personal preference. If you like a softer support cushion, by all means, go for it. After all, you’re the one that has to sit in it day in and day out. Of course, you can always ditch the chair in favor of a stand-up workstation. Just remember that even with a stand-up desk, it’s still important to take regular breaks and walk around to promote circulation.
A stability ball chair is another viable option (as long as you’re willing to withstand the potential ridicule from your coworkers). When you sit on a stability ball, you engage the core muscles that help to stabilize and support the spine. If you choose a stability ball, the same height recommendations as a standard office chair apply.
Step 2: Adjust the Height of Your Desk and Computer Screen
Once you have your seating situation in order, make sure the height of your desk is about the same height of your armrests. Your arms should be able to make a 90 degree bend with your forearms straight out in front of you. Having your desk too high or too low can put extra strain on your shoulders and wrists. If your desk is at a fixed height, you can adjust the height of your chair and use a footrest if needed.
Both the height and distance of your computer screen are important factors in workplace ergonomics. Setting your screen to eye level and about an arm’s length from your body will serve two important functions:
- Prevent forward head posture
- Minimize eye strain
If your computer monitor is adjustable, this step can be done easily. If you use a laptop computer, you can make your height adjustments by propping up your laptop on a solid object. Once you have your chair, desk, and computer screen set at optimal heights, you’re ready to move on to the next step in protecting your posture.
Step 3: Make Stretching a Part of Your Ergonomic Workspace
Once you’ve got your workspace set up the way you want, the next step is ensuring that you take regular breaks to move and stretch. A good rule of thumb is to take a 5-10 minute break for every hour you work.
Taking a break doesn’t have to be complicated. A few yoga poses practiced daily can offer quick relief. If you suffer from neck and back pain, you can try these 11 stretches to help as well. The main thing is to ensure that you reduce long periods of sitting with little change to your body position. Moving your body is a vital element of an ergonomic workspace, and getting your blood circulating can help to soothe away your aches and pains.
Start your positive habit change today with Lumo Lift
Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.
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