5 easy steps to an ergonomic work environment
Many of us now spend hours in front of the computer at work, repeatedly looking down with our shoulders hunched over a keyboard. Want to know what you can do to keep a healthy back? Then carry on reading below...
Many of us now spend hours in front of the computer at work, repeatedly looking down with our shoulders hunched over a keyboard. This poor posture can often result in pain and discomfort but can easily be avoided by creating an ergonomic workstation and taking regular breaks.
While you could spend a lot of money purchasing a fully custom ergonomic desk, all you need to do is make a few changes to notice a big improvement.
Here are some guidelines to help you create your own ergonomic workstation:
Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are level with your hips. Make sure to leave a small gap between the back of your legs and the front of the seat.
Sit in your chair so that your back is supported against the back rest, or a lumbar support pad if you have one. Specialised lumbar supports such as the Backboard™ are available that can help support the natural inward curve of the spine and prevent you from slouching.
When typing, your forearms should be parallel to the ground and elbows should be bent at 90 degrees. Try to keep you shoulders relaxed and your wrists should be in a straight, natural position.
Your monitor screen should be positioned one arm's length away from you with the top of the screen at eye level or just below. Monitor stands like the Posture Stand are available if you need help in raising your screen to a comfortable height.
Try standing at your desk while you're working, even if it's just for an hour each day. Better posture, improved energy levels and productivity are just some of the benefits you can experience by switching working positions and standing throughout the day. By implementing an adjustable sit/stand desk such as the Standing Desk into your workstation you can easily move between postures and reduce the physical stresses on your body.
Keep key objects such as stationery items or your telephone close to your body to prevent over stretching.
Keep moving. Our bodies were made to move so try not to stay in static postures for too long. If you know this is a problem, maybe look at purchasing a motion chair such as the Swopper, or a Posture Cushion - a pre-inflated disc which can help turn any chair into an active sitting chair.
Take regular breaks. Get up and move for at least 5 minutes every hour. Whether that's going to get a drink, collecting documents from the printer or going to speak to a colleague face to face instead of sending an email.
Following these simple principles of workspace ergonomics can help make a big difference to your well being and ensure that the time you spend at the office contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
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