Millions of Americans work in an office environment, many of us putting in far beyond the standard 40 hours per week. All that time at our desks is great for productivity—but not so much for our backs, muscles and joints! By analyzing your office ergonomics and doing a little work to correct them, you’ll save yourself from the unwanted pain that can come from a desk job.
The average employee spends 5-8 hours sitting, but the chairs they’re sitting on are 7 years old, on average. For how much time we spend on our behinds, we could benefit greatly from investing in a proper ergonomic chair!
The right chair should be tall enough so that your feet sit flat on the floor and your arms come to a natural bend that’s even with the surface of the desk. Ideally, your chair will also have some form of lower back support and arm rests for comfort. By sitting up straight with your back against the back rest at all times, you’ll ensure an even distribution of pressure from your upper to lower back.
Next up is the placement of your computer monitor. Your monitor should be about an arm’s length away from you, with the top of the screen at or just below eye level. The brightness should be comfortable for you to look at without squinting or straining. If your office has windows, you may need to adjust your monitor for ideal brightness as the light changes throughout the day.
While typing, your wrists should be straight and lay flat as much as possible, rather than lifted from the keyboard or bent. Some people prefer to use a wrist support or ergonomic keyboard for this purpose. The mouse should be within easy reach and also be positioned so that the wrist is straight while using it.
Experts agree that taking short work breaks to stand or move around are good for your overall physical health. It’ll also get your blood flowing, making you more awake and reenergized to return to work.
Following these few simple steps will not only help you be more productive at work, but more comfortable as well.