If you have an office job, you know that sitting at a desk inside of a cubicle for 40 hours a week can take its toll on your body. Ergonomics is the science of designing a work station to fit you personally and allow a comfortable working environment. This helps with productivity and efficiency! When you feel better, you work better!
Avoid Fatigue Through Ergonomics
Let’s start at the top and work our way down.
· Keep your computer monitor at eye level directly in front of you. The top needs to stay at eye level, no higher. Putting the monitor off centered causes frequent head turning and strains the neck and shoulders. Don’t forget that the keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor as well, to help keep your body aligned.
· Your computer monitor should be an arm’s length from your body, too far or too close will cause eye strain.
· Limit screen glare by adding a guard to your screen or keeping the monitor away from windows or bright lights.
· Take a break every once in a while by looking at objects across the room. This will give your eyes a break.
· If you spent a significant amount of time on the telephone, invest in an ear piece. Holding the phone at an angle between your ear and neck is not good for your muscles and causes excessive strain.
· Try and watch your head position. Are you stretching your head and neck forward too much? Are you leaning your head back on your chair too much? Keeping the weight of your head directly above your neck reduces strain.
· Sit up straight! No slouching. This puts so much pressure on the discs and vertebrae in your back. Use the lumbar support of your chair and sit back in your chair. Not on the edge, or on the side, but square in the center of your chair with your back against the back of the chair. Slide your chair in and sit as closely to your work as you’re comfortable. Avoid reaching and stretching to get to your work, if you can. Check your seat when you sit down, are you all the way back? Weight evenly distributed?
· Arm support. The weight of your arms should be supported at all times, if not, the muscles in your neck and shoulders will be strained by the end of the say.
· Check hand position. Your keyboard and mouse should be close enough to your body to prevent excessive reaching. Also be mindful of keyboards that are too low or two high. Try to keep your elbows at a 90 degree angle or more.
· Feet on the floor! Last, but certainly not least, your feet should rest comfortably on the floor when you’re seated. If you’re short like me, you can use a wooden box to keep under your desk. Dangling feet mean that your feet aren’t helping support the weight of your body and this puts a lot of pressure on the backs of your legs and lower back.