Americans spend one billion dollars every week on work-related musculoskeletal injuries because many of us spend our workdays straining to accommodate our workstations when it should be the other way around.
Having a workstation that
isn’t suited for your body forces you to hold your wrists, neck, shoulders and back
in strange positions for hours at a time, which causes a surprising amount of
damage to those body parts.
Is Your Workstation Right for You?
The right workstation
allows you to work in a relaxed position, and requires little force, strength
and effort. It’s the only way to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your body.
While we can’t all have
custom-made office furniture, there’s a ton of adjustable furniture on the
market; the more adjustable, the better.
Adjust Your Workstation to Suit your Body
Your eyes should be level with the top of your monitor. You should be able to read your screen without craning your head and neck forwards and backwards. Your head should remain above the base of your neck at all times.
You can achieve this by
raising or lowering your monitor, or moving it closer or farther away. If using
a laptop, you might need to get a larger monitor.
Your chair should support your lower back and allow you to sit at a slightly reclined 100 to 110-degree angle, allowing you to maintain the normal curve in your spine in a way that slouching or sitting up straight doesn’t.
When seated, your feet should rest flat on the floor, and your thighs should be parallel to the ground. Also, you should sit back when working, leaving just a few inches between the back of your knees and the chair.
Adjust the armrests so that the weight of your arms is supported at all times and your shoulders are relaxed. If your armrests are too low, your arms won’t be supported, which could cause neck and shoulder pain. And, if your armrests are too high, your neck and shoulders won’t be able to relax.
Most desks are built at the correct height for writing but not typing, which forces you to reach up when typing, straining the shoulders and arms. However, a desk that forces you to hunch your shoulders isn’t any better either.
Your desk is at the right
height when your forearms are parallel to the floor and your wrists are not
pointing upwards or downwards.
If your desk is too high, consider getting a keyboard tray that slides out from under the desk. And if it is too low, try adjusting your chair downwards.
Just because your job requires you to sit behind a desk all day doesn’t mean you should be doomed to a lifetime of neck, wrist, and back pain!
Take the liberty of adjusting your workstation to suit YOUR needs so you can stay healthy and pain-free!
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