Part of the: Ergonomic Workstations Collection
Here is how you can get an ergonomic makeover for your office right away.
If you are reading about ergonomics, chances are you already have a little understanding of what it means, the implications of not having it and how correct posture can benefit the body.
Most likely the essence of ergonomics has already been adopted in your workstations without you even realising. But what you probably don’t realise is those aches and pains that you thought were from gym or heavy lifting are more likely to be a gradual build-up from sitting at your office desk all day.
Over time, poor sitting habits, slouching at the desk and incorrect seating easily become habitual and can lead to back and neck pain as well as damaging spinal structures.
Fortunately, poor posture, discomfort and productivity can be controlled and improved with some simple ergonomic changes. And it all comes down to posture. Having the correct ergonomic office workstation desk supports the body’s physical structure, which in essence affects your posture, which ultimately leads to your overall comfort and productivity.
Posture is a vital component of your everyday comfort and an area most likely neglected. What is your natural posture? Well just like you would sit in a car with your feet on the ground, hands in your lap and your shoulders relaxed – this is known as your ‘natural posture.’ Try and recognize this natural comfortable state and then implement it into your workstations.
Whilst ergonomic office chairs are well designed to support the body’s posture they only work if used correctly. Here are some tips to ensure your body has the correct posture to avoid spinal injury and create a safe comfortable workplace.
Computer Screen Ergonomics
To avoid craning your neck, your screen should be at a comfortable distance. Sit back and extend your arms. The right position should be if your middle finger lands on your screen.
For correct height positioning, close your eyes and when you open them the address bar should be in line. Use the height adjustment to correct your lining and always tilt your screen/ monitor to avoid reflections and glare.
Everything around your desk should be placed around the natural posture of your body. Elbows should always be kept at the side and angled at 90 degree or below.
The height of the keyboard should be 1 to 2 inches above your thighs and the position should be as level as possible and ideally shoulder distance apart.
An ergonomic chair is designed to help reduce the stress placed on the body from prolonged seating which is why the correct positioning is imperative. Avoid sitting on the edge of your chair and always remember to sit with your bottom pressed at the back of the chair for optimal support.
Make sure you are seated as close to your desk as possible with your arms resting on the work surface at a 90-degree angle.
Your upper arms should be parallel to your spine and your legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle ensuring your feet are flat on the floor. Always adjust the height of your chair to make sure you are correctly angled, a seat height ranging from 16-21 inches off the ground is recommended.
Cushion / Padding
Ideally, a comfortable cushion with a breathable mesh fabric office chair will equip your body and maintain the right posture throughout the day. Try avoiding a hard chair or an aesthetically designed chair as the damage to your body far outweighs any design.
Alleviating pain from the neck and shoulders can be done with correct armrest positioning. To avoid slouching forward on your chair, your armrest should be adjusted so your arms are slightly lifted at the shoulders and in a comfortable position.
Back Rest Height
Warning! If a chair does not have an adjustable back (both up and down and angles) then it’s likely to be cheap. The backrest should be 12-19 inches wide with full support to the natural curve of the spine.
Try keeping the angle of the chair more forward than backwards to keep your posture as slouching will occur if too far back. Lumbar support office chairs are also essential for support and posture and shouldn’t be directly vertical. The alternative to the ergonomically certified seat would be the balance ball as some people benefit more from their natural balanced posture.
Instead, the body’s posture is naturally shifted when the pelvis is rocked gently forward from the balance balls movement, which in turn increases the lumbar curve and results in the shoulders being shifted back.
There are many different types of ergonomic chairs available at JasonL that have been certified and designed for optimal body function. Speak to one of the JasonL consultants to assist in the correct chair.
The more comfortable the chair the more likely the response of your body but always remember that no matter how ergonomically correct your workstations are always take a break at least once an hour to walk around the office and stretch your legs.