5 Tips for a Better Ergonomic Work Station

More and more people are struggling with work-related stress, strain, or even injury.  This may be due to computer-related jobs in which workers need to sit most of the day, staring at a screen, and repetitively typing all day.  What you may not know is that even a desk job can be improved with a few minor, and some more major, changes to your work habits and station.

Ergonomic Work Station Set-Up Principles

  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABending your neck to see your too-low screen hurts your neck and your eyes because you’re straining both.  An easy and cheap solution is to use a monitor lift.  Your goal is to get your screen at eye level and about 20 inches from your torso.
  • Try an adjustable, ergonomic chair.  This can be quite an investment, but your back is worth it.  Even if you keep your current chair or already have an adjustable one, make sure to actually adjust it  {the height, back support, and arm rests}! Your feet should rest flat on the floor, your back should be well-supported {you can even try portable lumbar support}, and your arms should be able to slope slightly downward to reach your keyboard without cocking your wrists.
  • Ask for a wrist rest.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common office injury and be easily avoided by practicing good wrist positioning.  However, a wrist rest is poorly named- it’s really meant to rest the palms of your hands in between periods of typing.
  • Try an ergonomic keyboard.  There are more options out there than you can imagine, so finding a good fit is just a matter of preference and trying out a couple.  Ergonomic keyboards can be especially helpful as an add-on to your docked lap top.  They are much more comfortable for long periods of typing and can be moved closer to the body while your screen is elevated.
  • Request a document holder.  It’s such an easy fix, but elevating notes or documents that you frequently reference truly keeps you from straining your eyes and your neck.  Who likes to go home with a crick in their neck?
  • Lastly, try a sound machine, or even this free online generator, for fewer distractions.

As you can see, just making some simple changes to your own movements can help decrease strain.  As for the ergonomic products, prioritize the one or two products that apply to your own weak points.  Keeping your muscles, joints, mind, and overall body in good health is worth a little change!

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