Many people work in offices all day long. They sit at desks and conference room tables for hours upon hours with very few breaks. It’s this sedentary work that is causing hoards of people worldwide to suffer from aches, pains, and sometimes even disease. Sedentary work is proven to have health risks, but many of these risks are entirely avoidable with the proper adjustments. Taking a brief walk, standing up more, stretching, and arranging your office to accommodate the most health-conscious positions are all great places to start. These are some of the best ways to organize your office with an ergonomic workspace setup.
Many people don’t think much about how they sit. When they sit down, their bodies are at rest and often also slouched with a bad posture. Something as simple as sitting up straight can make a big difference in the toll that’s taken on your body. But because it can be so hard to remember these little details while you’re hard at work, you can get equipment that makes all the adjustments for you. Chairs that support your spine and improve your posture are incredibly beneficial. Desks that promote proper alignment and positioning are great. And one of the best things you can try to ensure you’re not sitting 24/7 is purchasing a liftable desk that will allow you to sit or stand while working. With these alternatives in mind, here are some of the best adjustments you can make to improve your overall health outcomes and comfort while at work.
When sitting at your desk and using a computer, place the monitor straight in front of you. Your monitor screen should be straight in your line of vision, so you don’t need to tilt or turn your head in your default position. To reduce shoulder pain, you should relax your shoulders without holding tension or lifting them towards your ears. The best way to ensure this is by bending your arms at a 90-degree angle. If you have to raise your arms or reach down to rest them on your desk surface, then your desk is too high or too low. To keep your wrists from feeling strained, make sure you have an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. Sometimes a desk pad with a wrist rest can help keep your wrists level while you click or type. If you’re working from a laptop, you should connect it to a larger monitor to reduce eye strain. This helps you see everything clearly without feeling the need to lean in or curve your spine.
When decorating your office space, it is best to organize the items on your desk based on how often you use them. The things you use most often should be closest to you, so you don’t have to reach, bend, or twist as often. As mentioned before, one of the best ways to support your spine and lower back is to purchase an ergonomic office chair that can be adjusted to meet your needs. When seated, your feet should be flat on the floor, and your legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle. If your arms or legs are not at a 90-degree angle, it often means your desk or chair needs to be raised or lowered to be at the right height. You can help yourself find these features by looking for a desk that can be adjusted in various ways.
One desk option that many people find beneficial is a standing desk or lifted desk. There are various options here, but the best ones are desks that can be utilized from both a seated and upright position. In addition, there are full desks on the market designed to lower down and lift as a complete structure. If you already have a traditional desk, however, there are also tabletop options that can be placed on your desk surface and allow you to raise your equipment to accommodate a standing position as well.
Apart from accommodating various positions throughout the workday, this minimizes many of the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. For example, many office workers report pain in the neck, waist, pelvis, and thoracic spine after sitting for long hours. Not only this, but studies show that sedentary work increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stomach problems.
Body strain is a common side effect of sitting because the neck and back have lots of pressure placed on them in the seated position. When experienced over a long time, this high pressure causes the muscles to tighten and ache. To reduce these strains, workers should ensure their standing position accommodates all the same ergonomic positions we suggest in the seated position. For example, arms and elbows should be at 90 degrees, monitors should be at eye level, and table height should be adjusted so arms and wrists are not strained. You might also consider purchasing a higher chair or stool to lean on when needed for a comfortable standing position. There are also various comfort mats to place under the feet to reduce soreness or pain from standing for a long time.
At first, transitioning from seated work to standing work may feel unusual. If you want to try it out before you buy extra equipment, you can use cardboard boxes to prop your workspace up to a standing level. Once you have the proper equipment, we suggest starting small. You might start by standing for 5-10 minutes every hour and then work your way up. Listen to your body and find the options that allow for the most ergonomic workstation setup.
Overall, creating an office environment that reduces strain and bad health outcomes will be better for you in the long run and more comfortable for you day-to-day. For example, making your workstation more ergonomic often only takes a few adjustments to achieve. And building a standing desk option can be a great way to implement some variety and allow you to be most productive while staying as comfortable as possible. In the end, your body will thank you!