Sitting at a desk for 8 hours or longer a day has been described as the “new smoking” as far as the damage to our health. Luckily there are many ways to offset those harmful effects.
Here are 5 science backed diagrams that show you how to improve your office ergonomics and health.
Most of us spend hours typing on the computer, which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and other hand injuries. To minimize the risk of developing these issues, Cornell University recommends keeping your elbows at a relaxed angle and sloping your keyboard downwards. This helps achieve a more neutral typing posture.
How you arrange the items on your desk has an effect on productivity and even on your chances of getting injured. CCOHS recommends thinking of your work area as 3 “zones”. Arrange your computer mouse, keyboard, phone, documents, and other stationery based on their frequency of use, with the most commonly accessed placed within your immediate reach. This reduces the unnecessary extension of your arms and hands.
Do you experience back or neck pain when you work? It’s extremely common actually, and the way you sit isn’t helping. Experts say the four best positions to sit to take a load off your back and neck are reclined, declined, standing, or supine sitting. Compared to upright sitting, these postures can reduce the pressure on your spine by more than half.
Which standing posture above fits you? For many of us, it’s unfortunately not the first posture, which is the proper way to stand. Check yourself in the mirror and ensure your head, shoulders, back, and hips are all in alignment. This reduces excessive pressure that is placed on a certain part of your body. Good posture is also just more attractive.
Stretching is one of the most important ways to prevent injury before performing work or undertaking more rigorous exercises. Refer to this diagram for some simple stretches you can do from time to time at your desk. They help keep your body active and your mind alert. Click on the diagram for a full set of standing stretches as well.