The average person spends at least 8 hours at the office, most probably sitting at a desk.
In some cases, the number of hours even increases, leaving you doing a whole lot of sitting regularly. Being at the office all that time, and sitting at a desk can leave you feeling uncomfortable and can develop chronic health conditions. But do not fret, here are a few ideas on how to make your office more ergonomic and thus more comfortable for you and more suitable for long hours of work.
Most desks tend to be positioned at a height that is suitable for writing and not typing. And since you need to ensure that your elbows aren’t stranded mid-air as you type, the height of your desk makes all of the difference.
A pull-out keyboard tray is usually a good option to guarantee that you place the keyboard at a proper height above your thighs. The alternative is opting for an adjustable desk where you can lower it to be around 1-2 inches above your thighs.
Since you spend a lot of time at your desk, you need to ensure that your office chair meets your standards. While there are many types of chairs available, you need to choose an ergonomic office chair that suits your needs. You’ll find that the best ones are designed to give you the back support you need to ensure that your spine is correctly positioned and that you always practice good posture. Otherwise, you could find yourself suffering from chronic back pain or hunching over constantly just to be able to get your work done.
While your seating position is quite important when it comes to office ergonomics, you also need to consider where you position your keyboard and mouse. Your elbows need to be positioned next to your sides and your arms at a perpendicular angle, so place your keyboard and mouse in a position that holds this natural posture. It will help you prevent straining the elbow muscle as you will reduce the load on it.
Many people tend to bend their necks forward while trying to concentrate on what’s on the screen and end up turtling or craning their necks. This usually means that the screen is placed too far away, resulting in an incorrect posture that will take its toll on your neck. To find the perfect position for your screen, you should sit back comfortably, extend your arms out, and place the screen at the tip of your middle finger. This will help prevent your neck from craning and help you maintain proper posture while looking at your screen.
If you constantly find yourself in an uncomfortable seating position and your chair is too high for you, then you might need to consider a footrest. A footrest won’t only lift your feet in the right position above the floor, but will also allow you to try out different seating positions that are most comfortable for you.
If you use any desk items regularly, be sure to place them in a position where you can reach them without having to lean forward or add strain to any muscles. It can be done by keeping them in front of you on your desk on an easily accessible shelf without you having to bend over too much to open it. Another alternative is to place them on shelves above your desk and stand up to get them whenever necessary instead of making an incorrect movement while sitting down.
The lighting in the room and the entire environment is part of the essential ergonomics for a work environment. Making sure that the room is properly lit helps prevent the eyes from squinting or having to move too close to your screen to see. It also means that the computer screens should be adjusted to softer lights so that they don’t end up glaring too brightly and affecting your eyesight. If you have a poor eyesight, you should try pure contact lenses so you aren't straining at the screen.
Because a workspace is supposed to be a place where you feel productive, energetic, and comfortable enough to work for long hours, you need to consider ergonomics in every aspect. Your seating position is usually the most important, but also depending on what you do at your desk, you must always make sure that you place your most used items within a good ergonomic distance to ensure that you maintain good posture at all times.