In today’s modern workplace, many employees have jobs that require them to sit at a desk for up to forty hours a week. While sitting at a desk all day may seem harmless enough, it can actually wreak havoc on our bodies. Some common health problems that can arise from sitting too long include heart disease, back pain, and muscle degeneration among many others.
In order to counterbalance the negative health effects of sitting, you can simply ergonomically optimize your workspace. By incorporating the science of ergonomics and understanding the support your body needs, you can reverse the effects of a traditional desk job. With these easy to follow tips, you can ergonomically optimize your workspace in no time.
Effectively Adjust Your Chair
One of the main culprits in the health effects associated with sitting is your desk chair. A good desk chair should not only be comfortable, but also support your neck, shoulders, and back. Your desk chair needs these things in order to be able to give your body the support it needs while you work:
- Comfortable cushion: A thick cushion can bring you all day comfort and act as a foundation of support for the rest of your body. Try to find fabrics that are breathable to help with air circulation throughout the day.
- Armrests: Many chairs don’t have armrests, but they are an important ergonomic feature. Your chair should have armrests that allow your arms to sit at a 90-degree angle when you aren’t typing.
- Adjustable seat height: This an essential feature of an ergonomic chair. Adjusting your seat height allows you to place your feet flatly on the floor and your arms at the height of the desk. Since everybody is a different height, having an adjustable seat is necessary to find your personal ergonomic settings.
- Adjustable backrest height: Having an adjustable backrest allows you to support your back based on your needs and during different activities. Great ergonomic chairs have backrests that adjust at an angle to help with your posture.
- Lumbar support: Because of the way our spines are slightly curved inwards, traditional straight back chairs do not give us the support we need. That’s why lumbar support is so important to keep the natural curve of your lower back intact and avoid pain in the future.
Ergonomically Optimize Your Desk
When it comes to ergonomically optimizing your desk, it’s important to consider your arms and wrists. When typing, your elbows should be at a ninety-degree angle. A great ergonomic desk has wrist support on the keyboard and mouse pad to avoid any bending of the wrists while typing.
If you’re looking for a truly ergonomic desk, an adjustable standing desk that gives you the option of standing while working is the best option.
Tilt Your Computer Screen to Eye Level
The last step to ergonomically optimize your workspace is to adjust your computer monitor to your specific height. Some monitors will have features that allow you to raise, lower or tilt the screen. Others are stationary, and if this is the case with your monitor there are adjustable monitor stands available to help you ergonomically optimize your screen.
You always want your monitor to be 2 or 3 inches down from eye level to avoid any neck straining or slouching of your posture. Your monitor should also be arm’s length away from your face to protect your eyesight.
If you want to create a workspace that reduces negative health effects and leaves you happier and more productive, these tips can help you get there. It’s not hard to ergonomically optimize your office, all you need is a little time and motivation to do so.
For more tips on optimizing your workspace, check out our blog “How to Use Office Furniture to Create a Positive Work Place.”