Your office may be the place where good ideas come to fruition and productivity soars, but unfortunately for a lot of people, it can also be a place that triggers back pain, neck strain, and carpal tunnel. Imagine the amount of pressure that is being put on your back and your body as a whole when you are simultaneously sitting in a chair, hunching over a keyboard, and balancing a phone between your shoulder and ear. Full-time workers can do that for over 2,000 hours each year! Consider these tips to help pain-proof your office or workstation.
1. Choose the right chair
Finding the right chair is as essential for your health as finding a good quality mattress. Remember – 2,000 hours a year… that’s a lot of sitting that you have to do. Make sure you’re comfortable. You don’t want to be sitting in anything that lacks support for your lower back and make sure you can adjust the seat height. Your feet should always rest flat on the floor so that your knees are level with your hips. You could always skip the quest to find the perfect chair and opt for a standing desk instead; which has been proven to eliminate so many of the scary consequences associated with prolonged sitting.
2. Think ergonomically when setting up your workstation
Computer monitors should be visible for you without having to lean in or strain. The top line of type should be at or 15 degrees below eye level. This is because it helps you maintain proper posture and prevent neck strain from looking down. Also, use audio equipment that discourages you from having to bend your neck (i.e., Bluetooth, speakerphones, headsets). Keep carpal tunnel symptoms at bay by keeping your wrists straight so that they are not forced to bend to use the keyboard. It is best if your forearms and wrists should not be leaning on a hard edge.
3. Take breaks
Taking a 10-second break every 20 minutes can have a very positive impact on you. Standing, walking, or moving your head in a “plus sign” fashion are a few ideas. Be sure to stretch if possible. One exercise we often recommend is called the “Bruegger Relief Stretch”. Click here to learn how it’s done.
Preventative care is definitely the best solution for workstation injuries. Small adjustments to your workstation and posture will make a noticeable difference in how your body feels throughout the day and at the end of a long workweek.
Download this helpful infographic to learn more about proper workstation set-up.