Many people around the world are experiencing significant changes in their work environments due to the current global health crisis. Whether you are working from home or the office, it is essential to set up an ergonomic workspace. A comfortable workspace will help you feel your best both mentally and physically. Setting up an ergonomic workspace doesn’t have to cost a lot. Here, we highlight a few minor adjustments and best practices with our guide to office ergonomics.

Chair adjustment

The chairs within your office should provide a sufficient level of support for spinal curves. The height of the chair should be adjusted so that you can rest your feet comfortably on the floor with your thighs parallel to the floor. The armrests should be adjusted so that your arms can rest and allow your shoulders to relax. This position will prevent you from slouching into an uncomfortable posture and experiencing back pain as a result.

Keyboard and mouse placement

Your keyboard and mouse should be placed on the same surface in a position where both can be reached easily. Your wrists should be straight while you are typing, your hands should be below your elbows and your upper arms should stay close to your body. Learning how to use the shortcuts on your keyboard will reduce the amount of mouse usage required, which will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and allow you to type for an extended time without a problem.

Use a headset

Phone meetings tend to last a long time, which means that holding your phone up to your head can become tiring. Using a headset with your phone will allow you to rest your hands and even continue writing at the same time.

Desk location

There should be a sufficient amount of space underneath your desk to rest your knees, feet and thighs. Blocks can be placed under a desk if it is too low and is not adjustable. You can raise your chair if the desk is too high and is not adjustable. Placing padding around the sharp corners of the desk can help prevent injuries and provide you with a place to rest your wrist comfortably.

Arranging important objects

Keep essential objects that you frequently use, such as your phone, pen and stapler close to your body to minimize the amount of movement required to grab them.

Monitor positioning

Your computer monitor should be placed directly in front of you at an arm’s length away. Keeping the top of the screen in line with your eye level is optimal for viewing comfortably and will help prevent eye strain after extended periods of using a computer.

Use a footrest

Using a footrest is an excellent option for people who cannot reach the floor with their feet. A small stool or stack of papers can also be used if a footrest is not available. Taking this action will significantly reduce the strain on your feet and legs and provide you with a more comfortable sitting position.

Take frequent breaks

Simply going for a quick walk can significantly improve your levels of comfort while working in your office. Sitting for a long time can negatively impact the even flow of blood throughout your body. Stretching and other forms of exercise can help you get back to a comfortable sitting position.

Change your position

A position that you are working in may not be as comfortable after an hour has passed by. When you start to lose comfort in the position you are in, consider changing your position. Sitting the same way for a long time restricts blood flow and is bad for your muscles. 

Understand the injuries

Ergonomic injuries develop after a significant amount of time spent in an uncomfortable position. An awkward posture, an extended frequency of sitting or high force can cause musculoskeletal disorders. Brief exposure to these poor sitting habits will typically not cause any harm, but prolonged exposure can lead to severe issues.

Invest in adjustable furniture

One of the key factors is to invest in comfortable furniture that is suitable for your needs. Adjustable furniture is typically the best option because your needs may change over time. The way you position yourself in the furniture is also a core aspect of an ergonomic office space. Understanding how all of these factors work together will allow you to recognize poor sitting habits and rectify them. While poor ergonomics is unlikely to cause any immediate harm, it can cause serious injuries that can permanently affect your posture.

Physical therapy in Raleigh

Working in the office is much more difficult if you are uncomfortable and in pain while you are sitting. So, it is crucial to set up an ergonomic office space for yourself properly. It will significantly lower your risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders and improve your overall posture.  If you are starting to notice pain or injury from your office set up, these adjustments can be helpful. If pain persists, physical therapy can be beneficial. Physical therapy can eliminate pain and protect against recurrence. Our physical therapists can teach you simple exercises and strategies to stay symptom-free. To book a physical therapy appointment, contact us today.