When you spend an average 40-60 hours sitting at a desk, looking at a computer, it starts to wear down your body from your eyes and neck, to your wrists and lower back. Are you sitting up a little taller as you read this? ;)
Over the last five years, there has been an increased focus on ergonomics, or the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment, because firms are starting to realize that a poorly designed workspace can lead to injured and unproductive employees which become expensive for them and damaging to you. Various companies are now providing ergonomic specialists on-site that can come check out your desk setup and posture to prevent future injuries and discomfort (check if your company provides one and make an appointment!). In the meantime, there are some simple tips and tricks you can implement to make sure you have the best set-up possible for your body.
At Your Desk
The image below helps you figure out the correct configuration for your desk equipment and the way your body should be positioned if sitting or standing at your desk. (We will be posting about standing desks soon, stay tuned)
Make sure you have a cushioned mouse pad and keyboard pad that supports your wrists to avoid carpal tunnel or pinched nerves. Usually, this can be ordered through your company’s vendor for office supplies so you won’t have to pay for it out of pocket. Be sure to line up your chair’s armrests to the top of your desk. It’s good practice to adopt these 3 Wrist Exercises that you can do while walking to lunch or waiting in line for a latté.
On the Phone
Does anyone else feel like Britney Spears while wearing a headset? Maybe it’s just me. Anywho, this might be standard at your office, but if it isn’t, ask for one ASAP! I couldn’t imagine being on a call for 30 minutes or longer without a headset as this would either cramp my neck and/or my hand and I wouldn’t be able to multitask while on the phone! Take a few seconds throughout the day to roll your head and shoulders around and stretch your neck.
Taking breaks to walk around is healthy for your body, eyes, and your mind. I’m guilty of going a whole day without stepping outside, but I’m trying to be better about it. Even if you don’t have a specific reason to go outside, find a friend who’s grabbing lunch and just tag along for the walk.
Taking small steps to improve your posture will go a long way and help you prevent irreversible damage! Let us know what steps you’ve taken to improve your work station.