Ergonomics is the way you fit into your workspace. Proper office ergonomics, including correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing, and good desk posture can help your joints stay comfortable when working and reduce excessive strain on your back, hips, neck and wrists.
With so many people working from home because of COVID-19, it’s important to have proper ergonomics in your workspace. The areas below are most important for healthy ergonomics.
Choosing the correct chair
You should be sitting in a chair that supports your spinal curves. In addition to the chair back, make sure the chair height is correct, so your feet can rest flat on the floor with your thighs parallel to the floor. Arms should rest gently on the armrests so your shoulders can remain relaxed.
Correct desk height
Your desk should be at the correct height for your body metrics and in line with your chair height. Under the desk, make sure there’s clearance for your knees, thighs and feet. Have you ever tried a standing desk? It’s worth a look if you have been having issues with your seated desk.
Using the keyboard and mouse
Your keyboard and mouse should be within easy reach and free of clutter. When using your mouse, make sure to keep your wrists straight, your upper arms close to your body, and your hands at or slightly below the level of your elbows. This goes for typing and any keyboard use as well.
Viewing the monitor
Place your monitor directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. The monitor should be directly behind your keyboard. If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor an additional one to two inches for more comfortable viewing. Place your monitor so that the brightest light source is to the side.
Keep it clean!
Don’t store items under your desk! Remember to keep your workspace clear of papers, books, or other non-important items. There is no need to work around this morning’s coffee cup, or only have 3” of mouse space because of clutter.
For those in the field
Driving in an automobile every day for work can have drastic effects on your health and safety if you have poor driving ergonomics. Your seat should accommodate your height allowing feet to easily touch both pedals without knees hitting the steering wheel. Hands should be at 9 and 3 (updated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and all mirrors should easily be viewable without turning your head or neck.
Proper ergonomics can drastically improve your work environment with fewer aches and pains at the end of the day. For more information on correct ergonomics, and an over-the-top ergonomics video (worth a watch for a chuckle) follow this link to SAIF.com.