Quick Changes to Make to Your Workstation to Improve Ergonomics
We’ve all heard the stories about what can happen to your body when you work at a desk for long periods of time. Neck pain, back pain, sore wrists, and bad posture can all occur when working at a desk - but setting up your workstation correctly can help to prevent them.
Whether you work from home or in the office, your workstation should be properly set up to improve posture and keep you working comfortably. The below changes are quick alterations you can make to improve ergonomics and your posture whilst working.
Position Your Chair
Ideally, the chair you use for work will have various adjustable features, so you can modify the height of the seat, the angle of the backrest, and the height of the arm rests for your own needs. You’ll want to set your chair at a height so you can use your keyboard and mouse with your wrists and forearms straight and parallel with the floor and with your elbows at your side so your arms make an L-shape. If your chair has armrests, you should set them so they can support your arms at the correct angle, without forcing them up. They should be about level with the desk.
If your chair is at the correct height for your arms but your feet don’t touch the floor, you should use a foot rest for support. The Leitz Ergo Cosy Desk Foot Rest is perfect for both providing support for optimum comfort and also keeping you active at your desk. With your feet at the correct height, you can ease pressure on your back and improve circulation. The Leitz foot rest can be flipped over and used as an ankle rocker so you can keep moving even when you’re working and reduce stiffness.
To further help you sit at the correct posture, you can use a seat cushion. The Leitz Ergo Cosy Seat Cushion has been ergonomically designed to promote a healthy posture and allow you to work comfortably. It will relieve pressure on the spine, by minimising contact between your tailbone and the chair.
Adjust Your Monitors
Your screen should be directly in front of you, so you don’t have to hold your head at an uncomfortable angle to view it properly. If the screen is too far away, you might end up craning towards it to see it, which would cause strain on your neck and back. Instead, it should be about arm’s length away and with the top of the monitor no higher than your natural eye level when you sit up in your chair.
If you’re using more than one monitor, the one you look at most frequently should be directly in front of you. Any others should be positioned so you can view them without having to turn your head too much.
If you use a laptop to work, you could benefit from a laptop stand. The Leitz Ergo Cosy Adjustable Laptop Stand raises the screen of your laptop so it can be viewed at a comfortable level. The best ergonomic office products will be adjustable, so you can find the ideal position for your specific needs. The Leitz laptop stand can be easily adjusted to four different heights, so you can find the perfect level for your own comfort. It has been designed to promote airflow around the laptop to keep the battery and other components cool and working efficiently, plus it has rubber elements and an integrated hook to ensure your laptop is kept secure.
You can reduce eye strain from your monitors by making sure there is no glare – close blinds if you need to and try to position them away from overhead lights and anything else that might cause a glare. You should adjust the brightness and contrast of your monitors so you can view your screen comfortably.
Position Your Keyboard and Mouse
Your keyboard and mouse should be positioned so they’re in easy reach for your natural posture, and they should both be on the same surface to minimise how much you have to move your arms. They should be on the same level as your wrists and forearms, so you can maintain your arms in an L-shape, with your wrists held straight.
If your wrists and hands are constantly held at incorrect positions and awkward angles, you could be at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is when pressure is put on a nerve in your wrists, and it can cause numbness and pain in your hands and fingers. A mouse wrist rest and keyboard wrist rest can be implemented to help keep your wrists straight. Leitz’s wrist rests can be adjusted to two different heights, so you can choose what works for your requirements. They’re padded to provide additional support and comfort for you whilst you work and can reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries.
Minimise Reaching for Key Objects
You should keep key objects that you use frequently, like your phone, a stapler, or documents, close by so you can minimise having to reach for anything. If you need to keep something far away from your body, perhaps due to space constraints, you should stand up to pick it up, rather than stretching across your desk and risking straining a muscle.
You should ensure your desk is properly organised with desk organising units for your tools and letter trays for your documents. Keeping your items organised will not only help with your ergonomic workstation set up but can also improve your personal productivity and help you to work more efficiently.
Get Up and Move Around
Whilst having the right ergonomic workstation and tools can help to improve your posture and minimise aches and pains, physical activity is also vital for your good health and wellbeing at work. You should aim to have a break every 30 minutes to an hour, where you can get up from your desk and move around, even just for a few minutes. You could also find some desk exercise activities to incorporate into your day, so you can stretch out your muscles and ensure you’re not stuck in one position for too long. As well as helping your body, setting reminders to take a break to move around and rest your eyes can also prevent you from working too much, which can in turn reduce the risk of burnout.
Leitz has an extensive range of ergonomic office equipment, work from home essentials, and office organising tools to help you work productively, efficiently, and comfortably. Take a look at our products today to improve your workstation.
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