At work do you find yourself constantly shifting in your chair and trying to get comfortable? After a full day of work do you have increased neck or low back pain? This may be due to a chair or workstation environment that is not optimal for you. With a few simple adjustments you could greatly decrease or obliterate your pain. When sitting for prolonged periods of time our muscles can easily fatigue or tighten dependent upon stresses. These stresses can result in trigger points, headaches or other potential physical health issues. So you may be asking what I can do at work to feel better and avoid these harms. Here are some simple tips to get you seated in the right position.
SIX SIMPLE WORKPLACE ERGONOMICS TIPS:
1. Seat Height
Most chairs are adjustable but for the main point is your feet should be firmly flat on the floor or a footrest. The angle for your knees and hips while sitting is 90 degrees or the hips slightly above the knees.
2. Seat Depth
Sit all the way back in the chair with approximately 2-3 fingers width between the front of the chair and the back of your lower leg. Use a pillow or lumbar supports if a chair is too large.
3. Back Support
Lumbar support should be comfortable and located in the small of the back. The height of a chair back is personal preference whether you desire neck or full back support
When using armrests, the elbows should rest comfortably at an approximate angle of 90-110 degrees. Additionally you want to feel relaxed in the shoulders and trapezius muscle so avoid shrugging.
5. Keyboard and Mouse
Wrists should not be at angle when using mouse or keyboard. This can be improved with a wrist support pad. Entry devices should allow appropriate elbow angles to avoid unneeded stresses on the shoulders.
6. Monitor Position
The top of your monitor is slightly below eye gaze with the center of the monitor about 15-20 degrees below eye level. Adjust the monitor for glares and avoid odd postures sometimes caused by bifocals or other eyewear. The distance of the monitor from your eyes can be easily approximated by holding your arm straight in front of you with the wrist pulled up as if you’re signaling for someone to stop. This is a good distance for your eyes to work with the monitor.
Since many of us spend a few hours per day sitting at our desks and in front of our computers we should do all we can to make ourselves comfortable. In the process of getting comfy you may very well be saving your back from further breakdown and physical ailments. A few simple modifications to working posture could be the key to alleviating all those aches and pains associated with work.