Office ergonomics best practices.
Finding the right chair for you.
Although choosing the right chair may be difficult, it is still imperative. Office ergonomics are highly-correlated to productivity and efficiency, so keep that in mind. Your spinal curves need to be supported, so choosing a chair equipped with lumbar support is your best bet! The height of your chair should be adjusted so your feet rest flat on the floor. Armrests are also important and often overlooked: a correctly adjusted armrest should enable your shoulders to remain as relaxed as possible. One of the most important office ergonomics tips is to refrain from slouching. Slouching puts an unnecessary amount of pressure on your back, mainly the discs and vertebrae. To avoid leaning as much as possible, make sure you ‘scoot’ your chair in every time you sit down.
Keep things within reaching distance:
You’re going to want to keep objects such as printed materials, notebooks, staplers and your office phone should be placed closely to you in order to mitigate reaching and overall inefficiency.
Keyboard and mouse:
Another office ergonomic tip to remain as efficient as possible while in the office is ensuring your keyboard and mouse are positioned correctly. While positioned at your desk, make sure you’re able to keep your wrists straight while typing, your upper arms relatively close to your body and your hands close to the level of your elbows. Following these office ergonomics rules will only help you work as efficiently as possible. If your job requires an excessive amount of mouse use, please don’t forget to adjust the sensitivity to a light touch.
If you frequently talk on the phone while in the office, consider talking on speakerphone to best practice office ergonomics. If you’re unable to use speakerphone because of privacy or courtesy issues, consider purchasing headphones that have a microphone built into them, much like Apple’s most recent headphones. Anything to avoid “pinching” the phone between your head and neck will go a long way ergonomic-wise.
Examine your chair’s height. If your chair is too high or too low for you to rest your feet flat on the floor, consider using a footrest. Using a footrest will ensure your posture is as “ideal” as possible, resulting in less overall fatigue. If you’re unable to locate a footrest, do not fret! A stack of books may do the job just fine. Your feet should never be dangling. They should be flat and supported at all times.
Under the desk, you need to make sure there is enough room for your knees, thighs and feet. You can modify the desk’s height by placing sturdy boards or blocks under the desk legs you’re your knees need more room. Raising your chair may be a good idea if it doesn’t align well with your desk. A footrest can support your feet if needed. Lastly, you’re able to pad the edge of the desk if it has a sharp edge to ensure safety along with comfort.
Your computer monitor should be placed directly in front of you, at about an arm’s length. The top of the screen should be around eye level to avoid unnecessary neck strains. If you wear glasses, lower the monitor an additional 1 to 2 inches for more comfortable viewing. Be sure to sit in your chair correctly: supporting your lumbar and elbows will mitigate any unnecessary stress on your spine and neck. Giving your eyes a rest every now and then is imperative. Your eyes can only view a monitor so much before they need a break! Ensure monitor is not placed in front of a window or bright background to avoid screen glare. Along with office ergonomics, office etiquette is also very important and often under looked. To read more about Carolina Office Xchange’s blog post covering office etiquette, click here.