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5 Tips for an Ergonomic Workplace

pexels-photo (1)Whether we like it or not, work is one of the most frequented places in our lives.  For the majority of people, sitting at a desk for 8 hours per day is fairly typical.  Over time, this can lead to aches and pain in areas such as the low back and neck, which can make sitting at a desk even more uncomfortable.  To minimize the effects of prolonged sitting, try some of these ergonomic changes around your workplace,

 

  1. Raise the computer monitor to eye level.  If you can, find a few thick textbooks or dictionaries at home or around the office and place the monitor on top of them. Ideally, the top of the monitor should be at eye level, allowing the neck to remain in a neutral, upright position, as opposed to flexed forward. If you use a laptop or tablet, consider other options which can raise the screen and still keep the keyboard in a manageable position for typing.
  2. Bring the keyboard closer to you.  This will prevent you from reaching forward to type. When reaching for the keyboard, there is increased stress on the upper back muscles, as well as increased muscle tightness in the chest muscles.  This leads to the shoulders being rolled forward, which contributes to poor posture.
  3. Support the low back. There are chairs which have a curve built into the low back area which supports the natural curve of the lumbar spine.  If accessing one of these chairs isn’t feasible, there are cushions that can be place on your chair which can provide the same support to the low back. They can also be transferred to the car to ensure lumbar support when driving, too!
  4. Sit with feet flat on the floor. Over the course of the day, people inevitably change sitting positions.  However, having feet flat on the floor is the best option for good posture.  Sitting with legs crossed forces you to sit with your pelvis positioned unevenly.  For men, sitting on a wallet in the back pocket can also affect the balance and alignment of the pelvis.
  5. If possible…don’t sit at all! Humans are by nature an upright species.  Sitting is an unnatural position which can bring muscle imbalance and discomfort into play.  For optimal work posture and minimal chance of sitting-related aches and pain, working at a standing desk is overall the best option.

 

Work can’t be avoided, but it can be made easier by adopting these quick fixes around the work desk.  Discomfort can be distracting, so having an ergonomic workplace which minimizes pain provides the highest potential for increased productivity.

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