When we talk about posture, we often discuss strategies to improve body position to reduce pain. However, it’s essential to consider proper desk ergonomics, especially since people are spending more time sitting in front of computer screens. Poor desk ergonomics can lead to a range of health problems, including back pain, neck pain, and repetitive strain injuries.
To improve your desk setup, here are key considerations:
Your desk should be at the appropriate height to allow you to sit or stand with good posture. This means you should have enough room to roll your legs and chair under the desk with your feet flat on the ground. The desk height should also be suitable for your arms and wrists to lay flat on the top surface without compromising your body position. If your desk height cannot be adjusted, consider adjusting or changing your chair
Your monitor should be placed directly in front of you, ad if you’re using more than one, make sure the primary monitor is in front of you. This way, you don’t have to turn your neck or twist your body to look at it. The monitor should be at arm’s length away from you, with the top of the monitor screen at eye level. If you find yourself leaning forward to see clearly, adjust the font size.
If you’re in a room with sources that create glare, the orientation of your desk can be crucial. Typically, it’s best to orient your desk at at 90-degree angle from any windows to avoid glare directly in your eyes or on your monitor. Also, consider artificial light sources such as desk lamps. If you can’t move your desk to avoid glare, install curtains or move lamps.
A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. Take a look at the objects on your desk. Do they need to be there or can they go somewhere else? Clutter gets in your way and requires you to work around it. To avoid this, remove anything that is in your way and put it somewhere else on your desk that won’t hinder your work.
If you have objects on your desk, place them in one of three areas depending on how often you use them. The “usual work” area is within immediate reach without having to stretch your arms out. Here, you should place objects that you use multiple times a day, such as your mouse and keyboard. The “occasional work” area is within reach if you stretch your arms out. Objects here are the ones you use on occasion throughout the day, such as a pen and a pad of sticky notes. Lastly, the “non-working area” is the part of your desk that is not within reach. This area is for other objects that you do not use on a daily basis.
Proper desk ergonomics are crucial for preventing health problems associated with prolonged sitting. Recent research suggests that a neutral posture of the neck and shoulders is optimal for reducing muscle activity, and a desk height that allows for a neutral posture is more comfortable and less straining. By following the best practices listed above, you can set up your workspace for optimal ergonomics and minimize the risk of injury. Remember to take breaks regularly and move around to avoid prolonged sitting.
If you’re interested in learning more about ergonomics and proper posture, check out our other blog post HERE!
If you’d like yo meet with one of our chiropractors to discuss ergonomics further, schedule an appointment HERE!