Setup Your Ergonomic Office with 5 Important Things
Are you sitting down to click away without checking if you have the right posture? More often than not, users respond to this in the affirmative. Why? They just did not feel it was such a big deal to give it so much thought.
But then, as you sit in a car to drive it, what are the first few things you do? You check that the seat is comfortable to your height, your feet are reaching the foot pedals, your legs are not in a cramped position. You check the rearview mirror for a clear line of sight and adjust for any misalignments and more.
Sitting behind a desk, working for long hours, causes stiff body postures resulting in aches and pains of the neck, back, and usually the arms. Hence, when you operate your system every day, it is a necessity that you adjust the systems to your body’s comfort and convenience.
How do you manage it? What should you do?
What is Ergonomics?
Enter ergonomics or the science of ensuring that you have the right body posture giving you comfort as you would be in a natural body position. It includes specially designed chairs that give you bespoke height, seat tilt, backrest recline, adjustable armrests, headrest & footrests, and more. Purpose? So that your body joints and muscles are not strained or stretched unnaturally. If they are, they could lead to pains and aches and worsen your health. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, USA, gives you clear guidelines on managing ergonomics for your body's comfort.
Here are some details for an ergonomic workplace setup.
An Ergonomic Desk
As you set up an ergonomic workstation, you need a desk that can suit your comfort. Gone are the traditional tables that offered one size fits all. Here is a desk setup full guide for your convenience.
With the ergonomic office desk setup, it would be best to ensure that your wrists and forearms rest on the desk comfortably. They should be in alignment with your elbows; the elbows should not be dropping below the keyboard level mouse to avoid straining them. For a tall person or a short heightened person, you will notice the discomfort.
You could always make temporary arrangements of raising the keyboard by putting some books or files under it, and more, such temp arrangements are always shaky and not a permanent fix.
Consider an adjustable standing desk that gives you the freedom to lower or raise the desk's height incrementally to suit your convenience. You can do this at the flick of a button as noise-free electric motor power it. You can choose to stand or sit and work, giving you movement and keeping your muscles loose. The choice is yours.
An Ergonomic Chair
As with the desk, you need a chair that gives you the freedom to adjust a few basic things to get the best ergonomic office chair setup.
What does an ergonomic office chair offer you? Adjustability! It is an important factor when choosing an ergonomic chair. Most chairs are built for an average heighted person. Even then, for your ergonomic office setup, you need to ensure a chair that gives you adjustable height so that you have your feet on the ground comfortably. Add a footrest if needed for a short heighted person. It is necessary to have your thighs parallel to the ground so that they do not take the strain of sitting for too long.
This chair offers you a strong lumbar, and the upper backrest takes away the pressure from the upper back and lower back and offers comfort with lumbar support. Ensure that your back’s natural S-shape fits in comfortably.
Do take time to explore some more modern ergonomic chair.
Have the monitor directly in front of you with the monitor's top edge a few inches above your eye level. This way, you can easily have the entire screen in line with your sight without having to drop or raise your eyes. Most computer systems allow you to adjust the computer screen for your benefit. If you are standing and working on an adjustable electric standing desk, you also have monitor arms that allow you to turn the monitor towards you or raise or lower it down.
Keyboard and mouse
With the keyboard in front of you, ensure that the mouse and keyboard are on the same horizontal level. As you type, ensure your elbows are in (close to your body) and not stretched out. Keep your wrist in line with your elbows. Elbows should not be dropping below the level of the keyboard & mouse as they will strain the shoulders.
Don't miss out that you have an ergonomic mouse and keyboards available too!
Ensure that any accessories you need for work are in your direct access, either in the front, side, or back of your desk. This will ensure easier access and little disturbance unless you have a common pool of accessories like a printer, scanner, and more. Even then, getting up after every thirty minutes or so (approximation only – chose what suits your body that day) is desirable to allow muscles to function and any stress to be distributed to other parts of the body, leaving you comfortable and fresh.
Don’t miss reading the complete guide to an ergonomic workspace.
To wrap up, merely buying the right desk, chair, and more isn't enough. It would be best if you adapted to the correct posture, which gives your body ample comfort. After all, you need to be in the best of your health to achieve your goals!
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WRITTEN BYNatasha Palance
A NY-based journalist with an MA in International Affairs. Has worked with global brands and nonprofits, as well as UNESCO-accredited NGOs.
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