All across the country, millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain due to their ergonomically inefficient workspace. Do you fall into that category?
If so, you might be able to enjoy relief and prevent further suffering by optimizing your office to fit your specific needs.
Five tips for better office ergonomics
In a time when web design is the focus, too few businesses and managers give sufficient thought to office design. It could be time for your office to make ergonomics a priority. Here are five essential tips to get you started in the right direction.
1. Start with your chair
How much money do you spend on items such as livingroom couches, La-Z-Boys, and kitchen chairs? Probably a lot more than you do on office seating.
Why is that? You may spend no more than 10 hours a week in your livingroom chair, but upwards of 30 hours a week at your work desk. Do some research and find an ergonomic chair that fits your needs.
It should be fully adjustable, comfortable, and durable. This could easily be one of the best investments you ever make for your office.
2. Position your keyboard better
A keyboard may seem insignificant, but its positioning is vital. Instead of centering the entire keyboard on your desk, try regarding the B key as the center of the action.
Otherwise, your keyboard may well be positioned too far to your left (because you’re taking the arrows and numbers on the right end into account). If you make the correction, this will keep your body in a neutral position and prevent your wrists from having to bend too much.
As a side note, make sure your chair is adjusted to the correct height so your elbows are bent at a proper 90-degree angle when you type.
3. Eye-level monitor
Did you know that your monitor should be at or near eye level? Most people need to add to the level of their computer monitors until their eyeline is aligned at a point roughly two to three inches from the top of the screen.
You can do this by placing a book underneath your monitor or creating a DYI stand. This will help you avoid having to crane your neck to look up or down.
4. Invest in a standing desk
If you spend a large portion of your day at your desk (say, more than three or four hours), it would be in your best interest to invest in a standing desk. These specially designed contraptions sit on your existing desk and enable you to raise your work surface so you can work while you’re standing up.
This relieves pressure on your back and prevents the development of permanently bad posture.
5. Get up and move around
This tip is less about your workspace and more about you. You should never sit at your desk for more than an hour straight without getting up and moving around.
In order to increase circulation and fight stress and stiffness in the muscles and joints, your body needs physical activity. This could be as simple as walking to the break room and back, or as extensive as going for a jog.
If you use these tips, you should be able to improve your physical health, reduce pain, and prevent future damage to your back, neck, and joints.