A third of all work-related injuries are a result of musculoskeletal disorders. These are injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, or muscle strains.
You can prevent these injuries from happening to you by creating an ergonomic workspace. This is more than just buying a new chair. You need to think about all of the elements of your desk area.
Follow these seven steps for creating the ultimate in an ergonomic workspace.
1. Monitor Height
The first thing you should do is adjust the height of your monitor. It should be even with your eyes without you having to look up or down.
This will encourage you to have good posture and take away the excess strain. The strain on your neck muscles should reduce. You should also notice that the weight of your head is better balanced and supported by your spinal column.
2. Monitor Size
As you get older, your eyesight declines. This causes you to strain more to see your monitor. You can combat this by replacing your smaller monitor with a larger screen.
You can even pair two monitors next to each other for the maximum amount of screen space. A decent size monitor for this type of setup is two 32-inch screens.
3. Monitor Type
Beyond the size, it could be the type of monitor you use that will cause you to strain. The best monitor you can use is a nonglossy LED screen. This way, you don’t have to worry about glare, and it is easier on the eyes.
Make sure you work in a room that is well lit so that your eyes don’t overly dilate. You also want to balance the brightness of the screen so that it isn’t excessively bright as this will cause your eyes to fatigue.
Your work environment should be well light with as natural of light as possible. If you can’t have sunlight, then fluorescent or incandescent light will work.
When choosing the temperature of the light, opt for a soft yellow. This will be gentler on your eyes and be less interruptive on your Circadian rhythms.
Place your lighting so that it is indirect. You never want it to glare off of your screen.
5. Keyboard Height
Creating an ergonomic working space is all about having the correct angles so that your body is in as natural of a position as possible. Your keyboard should be at a height that puts your arms parallel to the floor.
There are two ways you can adjust your keyboard. If it is on a tray, you can move the tray up or down to where you need. The second option is to adjust your chair up or down to the correct position.
Keep in mind that you also need to keep your eyes aligned with your monitor. So once you have your keyboard positioned, check that your monitors are still in the correct position too.
Other Keyboard Considerations
Don’t place your keyboard too far away. You shouldn’t have to reach to be able to type. You also don’t want it too close where you’ll feel crunched.
6. Ergonomic Chair
Any chair that you choose for your desk should have wheels on it. This will allow you to easily adjust to the most comfortable position while working.
The ideal chair will have no arms. If you want arms, get a chair that has retractable or adjustable ones. That way, you can move them out of the way while you work so they don’t interfere with your arm movements.
The chair should also have a back that is designed with the curve of the human spine in mind. This means that it should provide proper support through your lumbar. You want to make sure you push yourself all of the way back into your chair when you sit down.
Once sitting in the chair, adjust the height so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your feet should be flat on the floor. If your chair is too high for your feet to be flat on the floor, then you need a footrest.
7. Ergonomic Accessories
Take stock of the rest of your office items and buy the ergonomic versions of them. Instead of just having a standard mouse and keyboard, you can get ones that are formed to fit the human shape.
You can get a mousepad that has wrist support. Your wrist will feel better after a long day of work since it is in a more relaxed and natural position.
If you stand at your desk, then a padded floor mat will help relieve the pressure through your body from standing all day.
Set Up Your Space
Now that we’ve discussed the individual pieces let’s put them all together. Your thighs and arms should be parallel to the floor. Your keyboard and monitor should be parallel to your hands and eyes.
Everything that you commonly use should be easily within reach to avoid reaching and twisting. Then adjust your lighting so that your workspace is well lit with plenty of natural light to prevent eye strain.
Create Your Ergonomic Workspace
By adjusting your office so that you have an ergonomic workspace, you can avoid body fatigue and injury. You can prevent the many disorders that come about due to your body misalignment.
The sooner you make your office and desk area ergonomic, the sooner your body will start feeling better. If you are already feeling pain, therapy can help you get back on track.
Schedule an appointment today if you already suffer from pain due to a non-ergonomic workspace.