Every office staff has suffered from back pain, sore shoulders, leg cramps and tight neck by sitting in the same chair continuously over a long period of time. So there’s no doubt about the benefits to your health by investing in an ergonomic workstation. An ergonomic workplace is all about a proper posture because an improper posture can create severe consequences for your health, especially in the long run. Here are the must-have elements of an ergonomic office.
A Height Adjustable Desk
Working at a desk is a common cause of back and neck pain, often because you accommodate to your workstation rather than the other way around. One of the best ways of alleviating back and neck pain is getting a height-adjustable desk. When shopping around for a desk, have in mind that quality is of the essence here. Although there are many reputable brands, the Australian brand ConSet and their 20 years of experience in producing functional desk frames with strength and stability is what makes them stand out.
ConSet height adjustable desk is electric and easy to adjust with a simple up and down switch because you could use a variety of height levels required for your different work tasks. Plus, if your desk is used by more than one person, having an adjustable height meets the needs of everyone who uses it.
You can find a ConSet height adjustable desk in different frames and worktop colours and different worktop sizes. The height ranges from 690mm to 1185mm and has an 80kg of lifting capacity. The dual-legged Bosch-motored electric height adjustable frame enables the user to easily and quietly adjust from a sitting to a standing position in just 30 seconds.
Not only does an ergonomic desk increase your comfort and help your spine stay in its natural posture, but using one (either sitting or standing) increases productivity and decreases stress. An ergonomic desk helps you keep eye level with your monitor, positions your elbows at 90 degrees, and enables your wrists to rest properly on the keyboard.
A Good Chair
Not just any kind of chair, but a chair that is supportive for your spine during your long hours of work. Picking a good office chair for everyone is tricky. After all, there isn’t one chair that fits all because not everyone’s body is the same. But the main thing is to look for a chair that is built to help you and your employees stay in a neutral position in which your body is the most relaxed, and therefore helps you stay comfortable when seated longer.
So, what does it mean when we say “a neutral position”? This position is when the person’s feet are firmly on the ground and their upper legs are at a 90-degree angle with the floor. Also, their back should be properly supported by the chair’s backrest, and their forearms are at a 90-degree angle with the floor while their elbows are supported by the chair’s armrests. That way, there are no pressure points or awkward extensions on the muscles and joints of the body.
A Laptop/Monitor Stand
The ideal monitor height and angle prevent your neck from bending or rotating which can lead to soreness and even injuring yourself. If you don’t have an ergonomic work monitor arm, you may elevate it a few centimetres above your desk with the help of an adjustable laptop /monitor stand. Your eyes should naturally hit the top third of your screen when you look straight ahead. And remember, even though it’s called a laptop, your lap is the last place you want to have your screen on.
Ergonomic Mouse and Keyboard
Nowadays, there are excellent ergonomic computer mouses and keyboards on the market for your convenience. They have the same technical functionality plus perfectly shaped to keep your wrists relaxed with minimum movement. If you’re one of the many struggling with pain, tensed muscles and sensitive nerve canals through your arms after hours of clicking and typing, take the time to invest in these so-called details that will upgrade your way of working.
Footrest and Anti-Fatigue Mat
If your office chair is too high for you to rest your feet flat on the floor use a footrest. In the case when the footrest is not available, try using a small stool or a stack of sturdy books instead. Appropriate footrest improves your ergonomic alignment (or posture) and circulation while bringing more movement to the desk.
Even though using a height-adjustable desk is good for posture and alleviating back and neck pain, the feet can take quite a beating when standing for prolonged periods of time. That’s why it’s also recommended to get an anti-fatigue mat along with your adjustable desk.
Other Tips and Tricks for Good Posture
Take Regular Breaks
Stand up, drink water, move around, gently stretch out your legs, arms, fingers, slowly move your wrists, head and hips around in circles, etc. Remember, or set a reminder on your phone if you must, to take a moment to move around to get your blood flowing and loosen up the muscles.
Keep Hands Level with the Keyboard
For best posture, your hands should be level with the keyboard and if they’re not, use a wrist pad to achieve that. The wrist pad will provide another layer of support and comfort.
Sit Correctly in Your Chair
Remind yourself (I like to place a sticky note on my monitor) to sit all the way back in the chair so when you sit against it you’re maintaining the natural curve in your lower back. As for your head and neck position, a good rule of thumb is to make sure your ears always be above your shoulders.
Hands-free Telephone Conversations
If frequent phone calls are your typical daily task while also typing or writing, put your phone on speaker or use a headset rather than holding the phone between your head and shoulders.
Clutter-free Work Desk
A messy desk simply makes you stress out and isn’t helpful when you’re looking for something in a rush. Instead, there should be a clear space between your keyboard, mouse, and working area to minimize mental stress, muscle tension and unnecessary hand reach from your chair.
Tend to yourself and your body outside of the workplace as well by giving yourself a boost of energy. Make sure you get a goodnight sleep, eat nutritious meals and take the time to walk around outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. If you’re strapped with time but have a long list of responsibilities, even 30 minutes of gentle exercise and stretching at home will be enough to ground you and help your blood flow move around, bring oxygen to your brain and make you feel better.