Office ergonomics is a term used to describe the way we interact with our office furniture. It relates to our desk, chair, computer and other devices and how they help (or hurt) us in the office setting. The term has become more popular in recent years as many of us find ourselves sitting in front of a computer all day. Spending long periods of time in one position focused on one object can cause issues to our bodies. An ergonomically friendly workstation helps to reduce the stress on your body from working all day.
Bad posture at your desk can result in muscle pain, back pain, eye strain and other physical issues. It can also greatly effect your productivity. Even if you don’t think you’re hurting after a long day of work, it’s a good idea to evaluate your desk set up to make sure it won’t hurt you down the road.
One of the first things you should do is review the height of your computer monitor, as well as the height of your chair. When sitting at your desk, your line of vision should be perpendicular to your monitor. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your legs bent at a comfortable, 90-degree position. Your shoulders should be relaxed with your arms at a 90-degree bend. Make sure your lower back is supposed with your chair’s lumbar support or a pillow. It’s helpful to keep important desk items like chargers and pens close so you don’t have to overreach to get them.
There are many office products designed to help with posture and comfort during the work day. Standing desks are one option. They allow your desk to be raised to a standing position, so you can work part or all of your day standing up. There are alternatives to your office chair that can be helpful as well, like the Technogym Wellness Ball (www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2456750,00.asp).
The company Ergotron has an online tool that helps you determine the proper measurements for your workstation based on your height. Check it out at hwww.ergotron.com/tools/workspace-planner.
One of the easiest things you can do to help your body during the work day is to take frequent, short breaks. If you are a member of one of Assemble’s shared office spaces, try to take a walk around the space once every 1-2 hours. Taking a short break gets your blood flowing, allows your eyes to rest, and keeps your muscles loose.