According to a study, office workers spend nearly 55% of their work day sitting down. Of those surveyed, almost 60% of respondents said they don’t even get up for a lunch break – they stay sitting at their desks all day.
With this data in the forefront, it’s never been more important to have a healthy workspace. To that end, we’re going to talk about three ways to set up your desk ergonomically so that the time you do spend sitting isn’t so hard on your body.
First, let’s talk about what can go wrong with too much sitting.
Prolonged Sitting Causes Problems
Did you know that sitting for too long can wreak havoc on your body? Here are some of the issues that can arise from a workspace that isn’t ergonomic:
- Repetitive Strain Injury – this is basically an overuse injury. Common for athletes, it also shows up in offices around the world. Repetitive Strain Injury is caused by repetitive tasks and sustained or awkward positions.
- Musculoskeletal Disorders – these injuries can include Bursitis, Carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle strains in the upper body and tendon injuries.
- Lower Back Problems – this is pain in the lower back or lumbar region.
Now, let’s talk about the three ways to set up your desk ergonomically to avoid the problems mentioned above.
#1: Your Chair
Your chair is a big component to your ergonomic desk set-up. Proper posture is one of the best ways to avoid injuries. Here some tips to remember when dealing with your chair:
- Your hips should be as far back as they can go in your chair.
- The seat height should be at a level that keeps your feet flat on the floor and your knees equal to or just lower than your hips.
- Use the recline feature and adjust it to about 100°.
- Use cushions or small pillows to support your upper and lower back.
- Use the armrests to keep your shoulders relaxed. Get rid of them if they don’t.
- Keep your arms vertically aligned – no chicken wings.
You also want to change your posture on a regular basis. Even if you’re sitting in an ergonomically correct way, you still want to change positions so you aren’t straining one area too long.
#2: Your Computer and Phone
Your computer monitor, since you use it most of the day, is vital to your desk’s ergonomics. You want to keep it at a good position:
- The top of your monitor should be at eye level or about 15° below eye level.
- Keep the monitor 20-40” from your face to reduce eye strain.
- Wear appropriate glasses for looking at a computer screen.
- Center the monitor with your keyboard.
- Sit an arm’s length away and adjust it as needed to account for glare.
- Put your phone in a stand right next to you to avoid twisting.
- When typing or looking at papers, put them in-between your computer and your keyboard – again to avoid unnatural positions.
- Don’t cradle your phone on your shoulder. Use a headset or the speaker.
#3: Your Keyboard
The computer keyboard is a major culprit when it comes to office-related injuries. When you set up your desk ergonomically, pay special attention to the keyboard and your hand position.
Your keyboard should be centered with your monitor, and ideally both are centered on your desk. Look for an ergonomic keyboard to help you keep your wrist in a neutral position.
A keyboards often had a tab on the back to raise it at an angle. Try this and see if your wrists stay neutral. If not, don’t use this feature. The ideal position for your arms is at 90°.
Lastly, keep the mouse close to the keyboard so you can transition back and forth easily.
When you set up your desk ergonomically, you customize it for you and only you. It helps you prevent musculoskeletal injuries by reducing physical (and sometimes) mental stress that is caused by your work station.
While we’ve talked about how to set up your desk, it’s also important to vary your activity throughout the day. Take breaks and move around. WebMD recommends taking three-five minute breaks throughout your day at 20-40 minute intervals to prevent injury.
You should also stand up, stretch and look away from your computer screen often. This helps you reduce the any muscle tension you are feeling, and it reduces eyestrain caused by your computer screen.
Studio Proper iPhone and iPad products are designed with the ergonomic desk in mind. The Proper Tilt Stand for the iPhone is precision-machined and hand-formed to the ideal elevation and viewing angle. The iPad Pivot Stand compliments your desk area and provides a perfect ergonomic viewing area.