Office Ergonomics: Ideas for Your Desk Space
Did you know your workspace may be making you more fatigued? Sitting for extended periods of time harms your spine, shoulders, back, and neck, especially if you're not positioned properly. Slouching, tensing your shoulders, or over-using certain hand motions can cause real injuries, from pinched nerves to headaches and joint pain.
That's where ergonomics come in.
Good Office Ergonomics
Good posture and positioning at your workspace will reduce strain on the body and help you be more productive and focused.
To start with, your computer screen should be directly in front of you, with the center of the screen at eye level. Your head, neck, and shoulders should be in a relaxed, neutral position. Elbows should remain close to your body. Your forearms, wrists, and hands should be in a line parallel to the floor. When seated, your knees should be at or just below hip level, and your feet should rest comfortably on the floor.
Maintaining good ergonomics at the work has a lot to do with the furniture and products you use. Below are some ideas to improve your desk and workspace to help with ergonomics.
1. Avoid using a laptop's keyboard
The position of a laptop screen and its attached keyboard makes it impossible to practice the proper posture described above. Instead, use a laptop stand and separate keyboard. This is the only way to position the screen in front of your face and keep your hands and forearms where they should be when typing.
You can set a laptop on top of anything - books, a box, or an actual stand. For light-weight, collapsible laptop stands, check out Nexstand and Roost.
2. Try a split keyboard
An adjustable keyboard lets your hands can rest in a more natural position without tweaking the wrists.
Check out adjustable, split keyboards from Goldtouch.
3. Try a lumbar pillow or posture brace
Slouching can cause a number of strains and long-term damage to your posture. Consider placing a lumbar pillow between your back and chair.
Another option is the use a support brace that naturally corrects your posture when seated at the desk or on an airplane. The adjustable belt straps go around your knees and waste to help hold your back upright. Check out the STS Tech lumbar support brace.
4. Upgrade your desk chair
A quality, ergonomic office chair does not come cheap, but it's often worth the cost, considering how often we sit at our desks! A good chair should be adjustable, have arm rests, provide lumbar support, and be able to swivel.
You'll find top rated ergonomic desk chairs here.
5. Reduce eye strain with free apps
Lighting that is either too dim or bright can eventually cause blurred vision, headaches, and neck pain. The color of light makes a difference, too. Blue tones, which is common for fluorescent lights, cause more strain and prevent the production of melatonin which helps us go to sleep.
F.lux is a free app that automatically adjust the brightness and tint of your monitor for the time of day. There are also a number of free apps that will prompt you to take a break from you screen to rest your eyes.
6. Try an ergonomic touchpad mouse
Repetitive motions like clicking and dragging may eventually cause strain on your hand and fingers. A mouse with touchpad or trackpad reduces the pressure needed to click.
If you already use Apple products, you may want to go with the Apple Magic Mouse for best compatibility, but there are a range of mouse options available.
7. Alternate sitting with a standing or walking desk
Just as important as the positioning of products and furniture is to take breaks from sitting and simply move around. You can do this and continue to work by switching to a standing desk from time to time.
To take it even further, some people install their standing desk over a treadmill and work while walking at a slow, steady pace. It may seem like a challenge, but it's not difficult to walk and work if the speed is slow enough.
We hope you've learned some tips to make your office space more ergonomic. If your work needs to be portable as well as ergonomic, take a look at our laptop bags that can carry your whole remote office!
- Tags: ergonomics office work
- Michelle Chang