Whether you’re crunching numbers at home or typing away at work, you likely spend a significant amount of time behind a desk. If you didn’t know better, you might believe that you’re doomed to a career of neck pain, back issues and sore wrists. But by following proper ergonomics rules, you can stay comfortable and productive in the office.
Put simply, ergonomics is the science of adjusting the workstation to suit the limitations of its user. Its goal is to ensure maximum efficiency while preventing fatigue and discomfort. Fortunately, this isn’t difficult to achieve. Use the following five tips to put together a more ergonomic office space.
Even the most expensive equipment is to no avail if you don’t consciously maintain your posture. This involves sitting or standing in an upright, neutral position that doesn’t require any excessive angles or reaching to complete work.
Your hands and arms should sit straight and parallel to the floor, while your head should be facing forward remaining level with the monitor. Maintaining correct posture may take some effort at first, but it will eventually become habitual.
A good way to encourage correct posture is to invest in a high-quality office chair and table. Being able to move around and take on different positions is key, so look out for furniture that is adjustable. A standing desk is a great example. Chairs with adjustable components can also be tailored to your individual body style.
Footrests are widely regarded as a must-have, but you can substitute with a shoebox-sized container to save money. With ergonomics, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution and it pays to shop around for something that not only suits your needs, but also your budget. Consider checking out the massive catalog of products on OfficeCrave.com for some ideas.
Your monitor should be placed at eye-level so that you don’t have to strain your neck or squint your eyes. Be sure to watch your head position; it should rest directly above your neck without “craning” forward. For multi-display setups, you should try using eye movements to look at different screens instead of moving your head or neck.
The keyboard and mouse are often afterthoughts when it comes to workplace ergonomics. However, they’re just as important as correct posture and good furniture. You shouldn’t have to reach for any peripherals, as this increases fatigue and risk of injury.
Your keyboard and mouse should be placed in such a way that they don’t break any neutral positioning rules. Consider picking up a set of wrist rests for a more comfortable experience. An ergonomically-designed mouse and keyboard can make a world of a difference.
Repetitive motion is a major contributor to issues like musculoskeletal disorders. Sitting down for long periods of time is no good either. The best thing you can do is break the routine and stand up, be it to utilize a standing desk or simply get a breath of fresh air.
Keeping the following tips in mind can help you design a more comfortable, productive and healthy workspace. Don’t forget to stretch and head outside every now and then – it really helps.