Did you know that sitting incorrectly for long periods can have serious health consequences? To make sure that you maintain a healthy posture and are able to work more comfortably, we have compiled this guide on how to properly set up your office workstation. Whether you are an employer who would like to implement this with all of your staff or an employee who just wants to be healthier, this is the perfect way to proceed.
- Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor. This will keep your knees and torso at roughly the same height. When you sit, your forearms should be parallel to the ground and your wrists should be in a neutral position.
- Keep your wrist posture neutral at all times. You should avoid bending them sharply upwards or downwards to type. If at all possible, use a split-system or tented-and-raised keyboard. To help your wrists ‘float’ over the keyboard, you can use a wrist rest.
- Change your posture regularly. Regardless of how healthy your posture is, sitting in one position for too long is not healthy. If you have an adjustable chair, make sure you alternate between positions that will keep your pose neutral and relaxed.
- Keep your monitor between 20 and 40 inches from your face. This will help to reduce eyestrain. If the depth of your office workstation doesn’t allow this, try to move the monitor to a corner, request a flat screen one or purchase an attachable tray.
- Adjust the monitor so that the centre sits at eye level. The monitor should always be directly in front of your face – preferably no more than 35 degrees to either side – and at or slightly below eye level. If you wear glasses, lower the monitor.
- Place your keyboard so that your upper arms hang vertically. Make sure that you don’t have to extend your arms too far forward or bend your elbows back to type. Some office workstations have a shelf that slides out for you to put your keyboard on.
- Place the mouse nearby to the keyboard. Make sure that it stays in a position that will enable you to move between typing and using the mouse with little effect on your arm and wrist posture. You could also alternate between the left and right.
- Arrange items within easy sight and reach. Place your phone, books, stationary and other frequently used items within easy reach from where you sit. You should not need to stretch to reach these objects. Less used items can be placed further away.
And these are only some of the things that you can do to ensure that your office workstation has been ergonomically set up. Other tips that we can offer you include ensuring that there is plenty of lighting and making sure that you move as frequently as possible. We recommend that you stop typing and have a stretch or take a walk every 30 minutes to prevent your body from seizing up. You will start to see an improvement in your health very soon!