For millions of Americans, an average workday means sitting at a desk and computer for eight hours. This work can lead to musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and shoulder pain, and more. An ergonomically correct workspace can reduce body strain and improve job performance. Here are some quick fixes you can implement in your workspace that will minimize pain while improving ergonomic functionality.
Practice Good Posture
Good posture is more than finding a comfortable position to work in or what "feels right." When sitting at your desk, do your best to:
- Keep your shoulders squared and centered towards your monitor
- Rest your back against your chair, and avoid rocking and shifting
- Position your arms at about a 90-degree angle with your hands gently atop your keyboard
- Plant your feet firmly on the ground, avoiding bouncing and swiveling.
Not only do these practices promote good posture, but proper ergonomics also increase blood flow around your body and improve your work performance.
Switch it Up
Repeating the same movement continuously throughout the day can cause bodily strain. If it's possible to switch or alternate tasks, it is advisable to do so. If rotating or alternating tasks throughout the workday is not feasible in your line of business, make sure to incorporate several rest breaks. Stretch, drink water, or do simple exercises to keep your muscles and tendons from becoming tense or strained.
Get a Good Chair
If you sit at a desk all day, you need an ergonomic chair with various settings for different seated postures. The best chairs have adjustable height, armrest, lumbar support, and seat pan depth settings. If your feet don't reach the floor, consider adding a footrest to your workstation, too. Standard chairs may not work for workers with certain disabilities, so be sure to provide accommodation for workers who require them.
Make Your Computer Work for You
Your computer station needs to work for you. Your keyboard and mouse should be at the same level, with the weight of your arms supported by the chair's armrests. Position the keyboard and mouse so that your wrists remain straight. Avoid jerking or abrupt movements, as this can cause unnecessary strain to your wrists and arms. All other required tools, such as staplers, pens or pencils, and your phone, should be within immediate reach. If you use the phone frequently, opt for a comfortable headset instead of cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder.
Take Care of Your Eyes
Eye strain is common in workers with and without disabilities who spend much of their day looking at computer monitors. Adjust your monitor to eye level when sitting straight in your chair. Ensure that you look at it directly and that it's not angled. If you have a window, place the monitor at the right angle to reduce glare. Monitors with poor resolution, dead pixels, or a flicker should be upgraded or replaced. Blue light glasses work wonders, too!
More efficient team members are more productive, allowing your company more output and fewer mistakes with the same amount of time and workforce. In addition, healthier and pain-free employees are happier, leading to higher morale, increased company loyalty, and better overall employee synergy. Make sure your workspace is set up for success!
Our team at SeedSpark is equipped with tools and resources that can help our clients optimize their workspaces for success. Contact us below to schedule a free 30-minute technology assessment. Our team will spend time learning more about your technology, your business, and opportunities for improvement.