If you need to sit at work, it’s important to use correct ergonomics. This means positioning your work environment so you maintain good posture. I want to help you avoid injuries like back pain, nerve damage in your wrists (carpal tunnel syndrome), and neck strains.
Given the amount of time you spend sitting, it’s important to educate yourself on how to adjust your workspace. Take time to make sure it fits your body size. Let me give you some tips on adjustments you can make to achieve perfect ergonomics.
Reduce Your Desk-Job Ailments with These Ergonomic Tips:
1. Monitor Height
The top of your computer monitor should be positioned at eye level. Most monitors are positioned too low. If your monitor stand doesn’t enable you to raise it this high, you can put the monitor on a stack of books.
Your spine should be completely upright and perpendicular to the floor. Also notice that your head should be upright—not falling forward—and your chin tucked in.
Don’t lean over your desk or keyboard. Keep your shoulders down, not hunched or pulled up toward your head.
3. Forearms and Wrists
Your forearms should be level to the floor and arms relaxed at your side. If your forearms are not level, adjust the height of your chair or desk.
Keep your wrists flat and in a straight line with your forearms. Don’t rest your wrists or forearms against hard edges.
Do active hand stretches before starting work and during short breaks. Use the hand’s muscles to stretch rather than using the other hand.
4. Lumbar Support
The spine in your lower back (lumbar region) has a natural arch. Your chair should have ample support for this area so that you maintain this arch. If your chair does not have this lumbar support, you can buy an air pillow with velcro straps. You can also create lumbar support quickly and cheaply by rolling up a towel and taping it to the back of your chair.
Your thighs should be level to the floor. Make the necessary adjustment to the height of your chair or use a footrest.
If your feet don’t reach the floor, try a footrest. This relieves pressure on the back and legs.
Take a stretch break every hour to relieve muscle tension with these stretches:
- Overall body stretch: Get out of your chair, lift your arms above your head and reach for the sky. Repeat 3 times.
- Shoulder-blade stretch: Clasp your hands together behind your back and pull your shoulder blades together. Repeat 3 times.
- Shoulder rolls: Slowly roll your shoulders 5 times forward, then 5 times backward.
- Head tilts: Slowly and gently tilt your head to the right, to the left, and forward. Stop when you feel a stretch. Repeat 2 times.