There is so much talk of ergonomics nowadays. What is it really? And how ergonomic are you right now? We break down this term for you and share with you how it affects your everyday life and shows you how you can easily be an ergonomic believer or user.
Seeing as we spend most of our time in the office, let’s start with exploring various aspects of the ergonomic workstation, and how you can achieve creating an ergonomic workstation for yourself. Here, we will show you a simple 5-step easy to follow manual to help you be more ergonomic-friendly in your life.
Identify Your Natural Posture
Your natural sitting posture should not diverge so much from your natural standing posture. Important things to note are that your feet should be placed firmly on the floor, shoulder width apart with your back and shoulders straight but still in a relaxed position. When viewed sideways, your spine should ideally be stacked in the natural S-shaped position. It is important to establish your natural sitting and standing posture as this will be the building blocks from which you can start building your ergonomic workstation.
Arm And Hand Placement
Once you are aware of your natural posture, the next thing to be mindful of is the position of your arms and hands as you work on your laptop or desktop. The key is to keep your elbows close to your sides while maintaining a 90-degree angle of the arms.
Since most offices are still furnished with tables of a fixed height, you may consider installing a keyboard tray beneath your current table to help you achieve this 90-degree positioning of the arms. If you wish to integrate a sit stand desk converter into your workstation, do choose one that comes along with a keyboard tray so as to facilitate ergonomic posture.
The next thing to consider is the positioning of the mouse. It is ergonomic to keep the keyboard and mouse shoulder-width apart and on the same level as much as possible. Thus, ensure that your keyboard tray allows you space to place your mouse in as well.
As you will be spending most of your day staring at the screen, it is important to get this right as well. The positioning of the screen should be paired together with your natural posture in order to be properly ergonomic. When trying to find the ideal placement of your monitor screens, take into consideration the distance, the height and also the angle of the monitor screens.
For distance, it is advisable to have your monitor screen placed about arm’s length away from you. To gauge this more accurately, make sure that the tips of your middle fingers are touching the screen when you extend your arms forward. For those of your using 2 monitor screens, both monitors should be placed side-by-side with no gaps and at arm’s length distance away from you. This will prevent you from hunching over too much and straining your shoulder.
For height, the goal is to achieve optimal vision comfort. As a guiding principle, you should be looking down on your work and not up. An easy way is to ensure that the top of your monitor is at eye-level.
If your current table height does not facilitate the ideal distance and height positioning of your monitor screen, you may consider the use of a monitor arm to help you achieve this.
The final consideration when it comes to the positioning of the monitor will be the angle of the monitor. The purpose of this factor is merely to minimise any glare of the screens. A simple downward tilt of the monitor will greatly help in reducing reflections.
Your chair is your greatest ally in ergonomics. It provides support for your back, your bottom, and also helps maintain good posture. When it comes to chair selection, there are 3 major considerations that you will need to take note of, which are the shape, the length and also the height of the chair.
For the shape of the chair, identify your natural posture. It is important that the chair you select also has the S-curve design which imitates your spinal shape. Adjustable lumbar support will be favourable and this can help you maintain good sitting posture while you work.
The length of the seat of also important. A chair with an adjustable seat depth would be preferred so that you are able to adjust the length of the seat. An ideal length would be one where the space between the back of your knees and the edge of the chair is about the size of your fist.
Chair height is a consideration that is often overlooked. If you are short and find that your feet are dangling off the chair, do consider getting yourself in an ergonomic footrest. This is so that your feet are firmly placed on the floor when you are seated in order to facilitate your natural sitting posture.
Incorporate Physical Activity
Even with the most ergonomic work station, it is wise to not forget about the importance of physical activity in our daily lives. Taking regular breaks from prolonged sitting is greatly recommended by many health experts. Consistent stretching can help to loosen the stiff muscles from being in one position for too long.
An easy remedy to this would be to incorporate a standing desk to your current workstation. The presence of the standing desk will serve as a reminder to you to break the sitting habit and is beneficial to your health in the long-run as well. You may refer to our blog article as a guide to help you choose the most suitable standing desk for you.
There are many aspects to creating an ergonomic workstation. Every small adjustment made to the accessories in your workstation is instrumental in contributing to a healthier and happier work environment. It is never too late or too early to start creating a positive and productive workstation for yourself. So take the first step now!