Posture problems in the Workspace
The typical employee spends most of his working day sitting behind a computer screen. Despite the apparently lighter work, many people have developed symptoms due to continuous seating, bad posture and poorly designed workstations or work environments.
Some workers experience fatigue, eye strain, backaches and discomfort or pain in legs, arms, neck or shoulders.
Set up your Workstation
Even if you have all the essential components, light, monitor, keyboard support and of course an ergonomic task chair, it’s often not used or set up correctly.
Use the following guidelines to achieve a better posture and set up your workstation to increase levels of comfort and productivity.
- Raise or lower your seat so that your thighs are parallel to the floor and your feet rest firmly on the floor or a foot rest.
- Adjust the depth of your seat. Allow a two fingers wide space between the back of your knees and the edge of the chair.
- Adjust you backrest so that you feel comfortably supported. Good support in the lower back and pelvis region is important to keep the spine in a healthy S-shape.
- Raise or lower the armrests. The armrests should be level with the table top. Forearms should be approximately horizontal with shoulders relaxed.
- Adjust the chair’s recline tension to compensate for body weight and height. Set your chair in a dynamic (rocking mode) to activate muscles and avoid circulatory problems.
Typing and using a mouse
- Try to keep wrists straight when typing or rest the heels of your palm on a palm support.
- Position the mouse within easy reach, so that it can be used with a straight wrist.
- Position your monitor at least and arm’s length away with the top line of text just below eye level.
- Align your monitor and the spacebar of your keyboard with the midline of your body. Arrange frequently used work materials within easy reach to minimize twisting and reaching.
- Arrange the desk and screen to avoid glare or bright reflections.
Move, Stretch and Relax
- Tilt your head, circle your shoulders and shake your legs to stretch and relax muscles.
- Look into the distance from time to time, and blink often.
- Take short and frequent breaks, get up and move around.
- Use your lunch break to take a brisk walk outside.
- If possible, adjust your desk and work standing up for some periods during the day.
Choose the right office chair
Checklist: A good office chair has all the adjustments.
- height adjustable backrest
- lower back or pelvis support
- seat height adjustment
- back angle adjustment
- dynamic (rocking) setting
- tension control to adjust for body weight/height
- seat depth adjustment
- height adjustable arms