Ergonomic Tips for Office, Home, and On the Go
Ergonomics is the science of fitting a workspace to the needs of a user, with the goal to reduce discomfort and increase efficiency. The ideal set-up results in good posture and alignment, so you don’t leave work with a crick in your neck and an ache in your back! Whether you work in an office, at home, or out of your favorite coffee shop, set yourself up for success with these tips.
Be Particular When It Comes To Your Chair
Have you ever sat in a chair that was too low for you, only to discover upon standing that your knees were in pain? Or in a tall chair where your feet can’t touch the ground, and you experience back pain due to the lack of support? Having your seat at the right height is incredibly important for alleviating stress on your joints and reducing those aches and pains. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- With your feet firmly supported by the floor, adjust your seat so that your legs form a 90 degree angle with your thighs parallel to the ground.
- Adjust the lumbar support to fit your lower back; it should follow your natural curve
- The ideal seat length should support most of your thighs while your back is pressed firmly against the back of the chair, and doesn’t cut into your calves.
The important thing to remember: it’s imperative for your ongoing health that your chair be just right.
Accessories Should Support Neutral Posture
The goal for workplace posture is to be in a neutral position. This avoids any extreme ranges of motion that could cause injury to shoulders or wrists.
Once your chair is set up, make sure your monitor is at a height where the top line of text is eye level. If it’s too low, purchase a monitor riser or simply grab a book with the right thickness. If your monitor is too high, you may extend your neck too much, and if it’s too low, you’ll flex it and lean forward. Both of those can cause strain in the neck and shoulders.
Both your keyboard and mouse should be set up just below elbow level. When you type, your fingers should be slightly hovering, and your wrists shouldn’t rest against the desk. Your arm should be about 90 degrees when using your mouse, and remember, your mouse isn’t a stress ball, so don’t grip it hard.
Working On the Go
While there are so many advantages to working remotely, the muscle stress that comes from using a laptop is not one of them. Don’t choose between neck pain or wrist pain—if you are going to be on your laptop more than two hours at a time, use an external keyboard and mouse. This allows you to position the monitor on your laptop to the correct height, without causing stress to your wrists by having to reach up to type.
Move, Stretch, and Stand
Sitting for long periods of time is tough on your muscles and can result in poor circulation. After completing a task, get up and move around. Do some light stretches- besides being good for your body, it may help energize you! Standing desks are another great option to offset the damage of sitting. There are numerous options ranging from motorized desks that raise and lower with a touch of a button, to monitor stands you can put on top of your current desk that can adjust to your height, and most come with keyboard trays as well.
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