The goal of office ergonomics is a simple one—to set your office up so that your work space fits you and the job you’re trying to accomplish. However, this modest goal has enormous benefits. Workers with ergonomically correct work spaces are less likely to have pain in their eyes, neck, or back. They also report fewer headaches and are less inclined to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, or other tendon problems that are caused by repetitive tasks.
Benefits of Proper Ergonomics in the Office
Setting up a healthy work area has a lot of different benefits, including:
- Increased comfort
- Reduction in fatigue
- Increased accuracy
- Saving time
- Decreased risk of injury
How to Make Your Work Area Ergonomically Correct
While it’s impossible to give a complete overview for every work situation, here are some tips on how to help make any office more ergonomically correct.
- Make sure that your desk is big enough to accommodate your work. Arrange the items on your desk so that the things you use frequently are within easy reach.
- Keep your mouse close to the keyboard. You shouldn’t have to lean forward to use it. A trackball or touch pad may help reduce repetitive movements.
- Your chair should have an adjustable back and arm rests. A base with five wheels is advised to allow movement without tipping.
- Adjust your chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor and your thighs are parallel to the floor. If you have armrests they shouldn’t cause slouching.
- Make sure that your computer monitor is situated at or just below your eye level to reduce strain on your neck.
The Importance of Good Posture
Good posture is another way to prevent musculoskeletal injuries. Keeping your spine in its natural S-shape will help prevent strain on your back. Other tips for good posture include:
- Try to keep your work in front of you. This will reduce your risk of developing repetitive movement injuries.
- Learn to wiggle around. Changing your posture frequently will prevent your body from overworking joints.
- Take frequent breaks to get up and stretch your body every half an hour or so. Switch to another task if you can.
- Whenever you have to turn your head, try to move your entire body instead of just your face. This will reduce strain on your neck.
If you need further advice on how to set your office up to be more ergonomically correct, or if you’re already suffering from a repetitive motion injury, contact your chiropractic team. Injuries like these don’t get better over time. They require immediate treatment, and chiropractic care is the safest way to care for problems related to repetitive motions.
Photo credit: Ergonomic Improvements by Numinosity by Gary J Wood, Correct way to sit by Kare Products. Used under a Creative Commons license.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.