When it’s expected that an average working person will spend almost 8 years of his or her life behind a desk, it’s definitely a good decision to make it comfortable! And the need for your workstation to be healthy for your body has increased with the recent increase of use of screens in lieu of COVID-19 and recent shift to remote working. This is where Ergonomics comes into play. So what exactly is an Ergonomic Workstation? And how do we set up one? Well this guide completely answers both questions.
The Ergonomic Workstation:
Workstation ergonomics is the discipline of correctly adjusting chairs, desks, computer areas, and other workplace conditions to best suit your posture and body while carrying out your job duties. An active strategy to lessen or prevent repetitive use injuries at work is proper workplace ergonomics.
So if you’re tired of slumping and the aches have been slowly creeping up your body, we’ve put together a few tips on how you can set up your workstation in an ergonomic way:
Choose an Ergonomic Chair:
While it is tempting to work from the apparent comfort of the couch, it definitely isn’t healthy in the long run. Choosing an Ergonomic Chair whether you’re in the office or at home is pivotal for better health and wellbeing. An ergonomic work chair is a chair designed to best support the body, while taking into consideration your comfort and health. Choosing a chair that can be adjusted to suit your needs and can provide good support is recommended. An ergonomic chair should ideally have lumbar support, a backrest that is 12 to 19 inches wide and adjustable seat height having a range between 16 to 21 inches off the floor.
A lumbar support pillow and a seat cushion are great options too in case you aren’t looking to invest in an ergonomic chair for a while. Both these items can make a non-padded chair into a comfortable seat. A lumbar support pillow is extremely helpful to make your chair support your spine and fit your posture better. The purpose of these tips is to encourage and motivate you to sit in a proper way, so your back is not leaning forward but actually rests against the back in a comfortable and supportive manner.
Select the Perfect Ergonomic Desk:
We have figured out what to look for when choosing an ergonomic chair, but the ergonomic desk is also a must-have when it comes to ergonomic equipment. As one ponders upon the features of any furniture piece, so is the case when choosing an ergonomic desk. The things to consider when choosing one include taking into consideration the types that are available; whether you’re looking for an L-shaped one or a common standing desk, maybe swing arm adapters, a standing desk converter, or even monitor arms, choose one that suits your needs.
You should also be concerned about the size, if it fits your home workstation or your office one. Make sure your chosen desk will fit by taking exact measurements, especially if you have a small workspace. Keep in mind that the width and depth of your desktop are significant. Your wrist and elbow ergonomics will be maintained at the ideal depth, and your monitor will remain at the ideal distance from your face.
Also consider height as a deciding factor for which desk to settle upon as he height range will decide whether your desk is multi or single purpose. If at your workplace, multiple people will be using the same desk, then the height of the desk should be appropriate for all of them. If you work alone, make sure it’s adjustable for ease of reaching the keyboard and mouse and also the desk does not position your monitor or laptop way up above your eye level, as that will pertain to stress on the eyes and neck.
Use an Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse:
If possible utilize a separate keyboard and mouse for typing and scrolling. In case your laptop screen is too small you might even choose to mirror your screen to an external display; this might be a monitor or even a smart TV. Forearms should rest horizontally and be supported by the desk or armrest. Where possible allow enough room on the desk to rest the wrists in front of the keyboard but not so much room that you need to reach forward from the shoulder to reach the keys. It’s better if the mouse is close to the keyboard so that the hand is in line with the elbow and not sitting too far outside the body. If you use a vertical or sidon mouse at work, consider using the same or a similar one at home.
Keep your Screen at Eye Level:
When setting up a screen or a monitor, it is recommended that the top of the screen is at eye level and the screen is an arm’s length away. This helps minimize the exertion of the eyes and neck. The same basic rules apply when using a laptop at home: use books or a laptop riser to bring the screen to eye height and sit with the screen at arm’s length.
The Right Posture Everyday, Keeps the Aches Away:
The right posture is probably more important than it is to have the right equipment, if one wishes to avoid muscle fatigue and aches. It is advised to sit deep in the chair to utilize as much thigh support as possible and allow the chair to support the lower back. It is also recommended to adjust the seat height so that the thighs are parallel to the floor and the feet flat against the ground. If the feet are dangling consider using a footrest. It is advised to sit with the backrest reclined to around 10 degrees, this way gravity helps us settle back against the chair and utilize its support.
Move your Body Regularly:
Finally it is important to move your body regularly and change up your position frequently throughout the day and stand up and stretch or go for a short walk at least every two hours. This will decrease fatigue and increase circulation. Some strategies for this are to set an alum walk to the kitchen for a drink, stand up for phone calls or set up the printer or be in a different room for an excuse to stand up and move your body.
Other Additional Tips:
All the tips and advice mentioned in this guide are a sure-shot way for you to be able to set up an Ergonomic Workstation, either at your office or your home. So thanks to Ergonomics, you can say goodbye to the muscle aches and fatigue at least for quite some time!