Improving Your Workstation
Posted on: Thursday, 17th May 2012
Most people develop bad habits when it comes to posture. Although it may seem like a huge effort to change, it will reduce the damage to the health of your spine, and therefore save you pain later in life.
Be kind to your Head, Neck and Shoulders
- Make sure the monitor is at the correct height (the toolbars at the top of the screen should be at eye level)
- Find the correct height for your desk; by sitting with your feet flat on the floor then hold your arms at a relaxed 90° angle.
- Measure the space between the floor and your hands – and this is the best desk height for you.
- If your job involves working with documents, invest in a copy holder. If your work involves a lot of writing, think about a writing slope. Both products mean that you don’t have to drop your head and neck to work.
- Try to keep your chin in. (Keep your head over your shoulders)
- Do not hunch your shoulders up around your ears.
Minimise your risk of getting backache
- Help improve your posture by selecting the correct seat height.
- To find your optimal seat height, sit with your feet flat on the floor and raise your chair as high as possible (but keeping your feet flat on the floor)
- When you’ve found your optimum seat height, if your elbows are below your wrists when using the keyboard, then your sitting position is too low. You can solve this by raising your chair, so that your elbows and wrists are level and support your feet on a footstool.
- If your optimum seat height means you can’t get your legs under your desk, either raise your desk or invest in a height adjustable workstation.
- It is obvious but avoid sitting in the same position for long periods, so take regular breaks. Drink plenty of water.
- It is important that you adjust the height and angle of your backrest so that the small of your back in properly supported, it should fit snugly against your lower back. If it doesn’t, adjust the backrest, use a small thin firm pillow or rolled up towel to support your lower back. A well adjusted back rest reduces the pressure on your spine.
Don’t forget your legs and feet
- Make sure there are no obstructions under the desk area
- Remember to adopt a good sitting posture (feet flat on the floor or footrest, and hips slightly above your knees)
- Ensure there is adequate space from back of the knee to seat on the office chair (minimum of 50mm or roughly two or three fingers width)
- Do not cross your legs. This will cause misalignment in the pelvis and also reduce the circulation of blood.
- Learn how to hold your telephone in a proper position against your ear: head straight and shoulders relaxed (not hunched). Try not to cradle the phone between your shoulder and head as this can cause muscle aches in the upper back and neck. If you use the telephone for long periods consider alternatives like a headset or a speakerphone
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