Workplace Ergonomics


Most people who sit at a desk for hours each day suffer some sort of related physical complaint at some point, whether it be neck pain, headaches, back pain, or wrist problems. You may have already had to seek treatment to help alleviate these symptoms, but unless you make some changes to your work place ergonomics, they are likely to recur.

It needn't be complicated or expensive to improve your working position at your desk. Here are some simple tips to follow.

Sit right at the back of the chair, using the back support to support you back, bring your chair forward underneath your desk, so that you can reach out and touch your monitor without leaning forward, (move your monitor towards you if necessary). You may find that the arms of your chair impede how far under the desk your chair can go, as they hit the edge of the desk. Some chairs have arms that lower, but if not, turn you chair upside down and remove the arms, they are not necessary. Or change your chair if that is a possibility.

Your hips and knees should be roughly at 90 degrees, with the chair at a height that allows your forearms to rest gently on the desk with your shoulders relaxed and elbows at 90 degrees. If your feet are not flat on the ground when your forearms are in the correct position then use a foot-rest. A phone book or stack of printer paper will probably do. If you are very tall, consider raising your desk up on blocks.

The top of your monitor should be level with your eyes. If your monitor height is fixed, another stack of printer paper or thick book should help solve the problem. If you work off a laptop, try to change to a desk top. If this is not possible, then use a separate keyboard and mouse at desk height, so that you can raise the height of your laptop so that the top of the monitor is level with your eyes. Your keyboard should be directly in front of you, and the mouse just to the side of it. Sit square on at your desk, not at an angle.

For more advice about workplace posture and workplace ergonomics or to arrange an onsite ergonomic assessment call our osteopath in Islington, Caroline, at Angel Wellbeing Clinic.

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