Ergonomics is defined as “the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment.” Working in an office environment can take a heavy toll on your body and mind if you are not careful of your day-to-day actions. Ergonomics can help to reduce things like muscle and joint pain, eye fatigue, and even sluggishness. See below for tips on how to create a better and healthier work environment!
Photo Credit: A Unique Approach
Start on Level Ground
Adjust your chair so that your feet are placed flat on the floor, or use a footrest if necessary.
Keep yourself from squinting in that notorious office lighting by keeping a small desk lamp on hand to have a well-lit reading space.
Make sure to keep your lower back supported throughout the day by adjusting your chair to be within 30° of an upright position, and avoid slouching by keeping your shoulders back and relaxed.
Prevent wrist aches by keeping your forearms and wrists supported on armrests or a wrist cushion like this one.
Photo Credit: Yodesh
Give Your Eyes a Break
Use the “20-20-20 rule” to avoid eye strain throughout the workday—look away from your computer every 20 minutes and stare at an object at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. Giving yourself a much needed rest from staring at the screen will reduce dry or fatigued eyes.
Photo Credit: CCOHS
Adjust your computer monitor so that it is 10°-30° below your natural line of sight to avoid any strain on your neck and shoulders.
Arm Length Away
Sit about an arm’s length away from your computer so that you don’t put unnecessary strain on your eyes.
If you’re sedentary for long periods of time, you should get up to stretch every half hour or so. Do a lap around the office or even a few stationary stretches at your desk to get your blood flowing!
Be sure to have enough room for your legs to fit comfortably under your desk. You should have at least 6 inches between the tops of your knees and the underside of your desk to prevent cramping.
Photo Credit: Mark's Daily Apple
Change it Up!
Last but not least, try to change up your work environment whenever possible. A static work environment stifles creativity, so changing up your surroundings occasionally can help promote new ideas and perspectives.