We spend much of our lives sitting at a desk, both at work and at home, so it makes sense to find ways that we can use our workstations ergonomically.
What does ergonomically even mean? Ergonomics is the study of how equipment and furniture can be arranged so that you can complete work or other activities more efficiently and in a comfortable manner. Ergonomics in the workplace is more important to employers than ever, with the hope that attention to staff well-being will result in fewer absences due to sickness and stress.
Here are some useful tips for arranging your desk in the best way possible, to ensure you have a suitable workstation setup that will hopefully improve your performance.
- Maintain good posture - The position in which you sit can make a big difference to your health. Ideally your chair should be adjustable in terms of height, back position and arm-rests, whilst a chair on castors will make lighter work of manoeuvring around your desk. The Orangebox Joy Chair ticks all of these boxes and is super-stylish too.
- Avoid twisting or bending your neck - Try to keep your neck in a straight position looking ahead, rather than tilting it upwards or downwards. This will reduce strain and help to prevent pains and stiffness. The 2-in-1 Monitor Riser Tablet Stand with Storage Drawer will help you to place your screen in a suitable position and create an ergonomic desk setup, offering extra storage space at the same time.
- Avoid resting your elbows on the edge of your desk - Remember that your shoulders, arms, wrists and hands are all connected, so if one is in the wrong position it may affect the other areas. Keeping your elbows in the right position, without resting them on the edge of the desk will help to ensure that each part of your upper body is comfortable and stress free.
- Keep your wrists in a neutral or straight position - Bending your wrist up or down to use your mouse will add strain, which could cause aches and pains now and later in life. Try using a Keyboard Wrist Support Pillow which will allow you to rest your wrist comfortably, in a suitable position that will make computer work a breeze. A keyboard rest will also help you to keep both of your wrists in the correct position whilst you type.
- Take regular breaks - Stretching your legs for just a few minutes can make all the difference to the way that you work at your desk. Try to do some simple stretches for your arms and legs, which will help to ensure that you go back to your desk feeling refreshed.
- Keep your fingers relaxed - Try not to grip your mouse too hard and type gently rather than frantically if you can help it. Your fingers will thank you, as this will prevent aching and tense hands as you go through the day. You may find that your mouse is the wrong size for your hands, which can be easily solved with a larger or smaller version.
- Avoid excessive reaching - Stretching will put strain on your back, neck and arms, so an ergonomic workstation is vital. Organise your desk so that everything is easily within reach or stand up and walk over to the item you need. This will ensure that you get a leg stretch at the same time!
- Relax your shoulders and don’t hunch - The more you hunch, the higher the chance that you will have pains in your neck and back. Try not to tense your shoulders and sit back in your chair as much as you can.
There are many more ways that you can make desk life more comfortable. Check to see if there is a health officer in your company who can help you, otherwise pay attention to what your body is telling you. If your body is aching at the end of a working day, then there is likely to be a reason for it, as well as a solution.