Make Your Workspace Work for You

Reviewed Jun 9, 2017

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Summary

  • Take small breaks, stretch and readjust your sitting posture.
     
  • Find recreational outlets outside of work that keep your body toned.

You’re sitting at your computer, deep in thought, preparing a report for this afternoon’s meeting. One hour passes, then two. You’re concentrating so intently that time flies by. You almost miss lunch. As an all-too-familiar ache starts to creep through your back, you suddenly realize that you’ve been bent over your computer for hours without getting up. No wonder your body’s starting to protest.

Working at a desk or computer for hours is a physically demanding job. But that doesn’t mean that pain must accompany a 40-hour workweek. It’s definitely not part of the job. If you learn to set up your workspace to fit your body, how to sit and work at your computer using good posture, and take breaks that incorporate physical activity, you can avoid many aches and pains that come from long hours of sitting.

Are you comfortable?

Ergonomics is the science of arranging and adjusting your work environment to fit you and your body. Ergonomic experts recommend taking an inventory of your workspace to be sure that your chair, computer, and documents are at the proper height and angle. Here’s what they recommend:

Check your chair

  • The right chair height helps relieve cramping and stiffness in your legs. It also helps to prevent stress and tension in your neck and shoulders.
  • Place your fingers on the middle row of your keyboard, with your upper arms hanging comfortably at your sides. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor. If they’re not, adjust your chair height.
  • A properly adjusted backrest reduces pressure on your spine and supports your lower back. Sit at your workstation and lean back slightly with your back firmly against the chair. The backrest should fit snugly against your lower back. If it doesn’t, adjust the backrest until your lower back is fully supported.
  • If you can’t adjust the backrest, use a small, thin, firm pillow or rolled-up towel to support your lower back.
  • Move your feet forward until your knees are at a 90-degree to 110-degree angle. Your feet should rest firmly on the floor with three inches to six inches of legroom between your lap and desk or keyboard tray. If you have less than three inches of legroom, adjust your desk or keyboard tray height.
  • If you can’t adjust your chair height and your feet don’t reach the floor, use a footrest or wedge-shaped item to support your feet. A 3-ring binder should do the trick.

Monitor your monitor

  • With your lower back supported and feet firmly on the floor or footrest, hold your head upright and look straight at your screen. The top of your monitor should be at or below eye level.
  • If it isn’t, adjust your monitor until it is at a viewing height that will allow you to maintain your head in an upright posture.
  • The screen should be 18 inches to 30 inches from your eyes, or at about arm’s length.

Position your keyboard

  • The proper computer keyboard height can help keep you from bending your wrists while typing. This improves the comfort of your hands, wrists, and forearms, and helps you avoid injury.
  • Place your fingers on the middle row of your keyboard. Your wrists should be straight and relaxed.
  • To help keep your wrists relaxed, try a wrist rest or padded support.

Eliminate glare

  • Make sure your computer screen is free of glare from light coming through outside windows. Adjust the angle of your desk lamp to aim the light at your documents instead of your screen.
  • To help improve viewing comfort, you may also need to adjust your computer screen’s contrast and brightness.

Take small breaks

Throughout the day, it’s important to take small breaks, stretch and readjust your sitting posture. The best thing you can do for yourself is get up and walk around. Get away from your work mentally and physically. It’s good for the circulation and it relieves the pressure that naturally builds up in the back when we sit, thus reducing the accumulation of pressure in the spine over time and decreasing the risk of back pain and injury. The exercises below can help energize your body and relieve muscle tension.

Find recreational outlets outside of work that keep your body toned. Get plenty of sleep and maintain a healthy diet. By learning to take care of your body, you can successfully meet the physical challenges of an office job.

Rest your eyes

  • Lean your elbows on your desk. Cup your hands and place them lightly over your closed eyes.
  • Hold for a minute, while breathing deeply in and out. Slowly uncover your eyes.

Squeeze your shoulders

  • Put your hands up, with your forearms raised.
  • Push your arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades. Hold for a few seconds.
  • Relax and repeat three times.

Stretch your back

  • Sit up straight and imagine you have a cable attached to the top of your head.
  • Feel the cable slowly pull you up higher and higher. Hold for a few seconds.
  • Relax and repeat three times.

Shake your arms

  • While seated, drop your arms and hands to your side.
  • Shake them out gently for a few seconds.
  • Relax and repeat three times.

Shoulder circles and shrugs

  • While standing, lift your shoulders toward your ears. Hold for two seconds.
  • Let them fall and release completely.
  • Repeat two to four times.
  • Still standing, move your shoulders in a backward arc five to 10 times.
  • Repeat several times a day. 
By Rosalyn Kulick

Summary

  • Take small breaks, stretch and readjust your sitting posture.
     
  • Find recreational outlets outside of work that keep your body toned.

You’re sitting at your computer, deep in thought, preparing a report for this afternoon’s meeting. One hour passes, then two. You’re concentrating so intently that time flies by. You almost miss lunch. As an all-too-familiar ache starts to creep through your back, you suddenly realize that you’ve been bent over your computer for hours without getting up. No wonder your body’s starting to protest.

Working at a desk or computer for hours is a physically demanding job. But that doesn’t mean that pain must accompany a 40-hour workweek. It’s definitely not part of the job. If you learn to set up your workspace to fit your body, how to sit and work at your computer using good posture, and take breaks that incorporate physical activity, you can avoid many aches and pains that come from long hours of sitting.

Are you comfortable?

Ergonomics is the science of arranging and adjusting your work environment to fit you and your body. Ergonomic experts recommend taking an inventory of your workspace to be sure that your chair, computer, and documents are at the proper height and angle. Here’s what they recommend:

Check your chair

  • The right chair height helps relieve cramping and stiffness in your legs. It also helps to prevent stress and tension in your neck and shoulders.
  • Place your fingers on the middle row of your keyboard, with your upper arms hanging comfortably at your sides. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor. If they’re not, adjust your chair height.
  • A properly adjusted backrest reduces pressure on your spine and supports your lower back. Sit at your workstation and lean back slightly with your back firmly against the chair. The backrest should fit snugly against your lower back. If it doesn’t, adjust the backrest until your lower back is fully supported.
  • If you can’t adjust the backrest, use a small, thin, firm pillow or rolled-up towel to support your lower back.
  • Move your feet forward until your knees are at a 90-degree to 110-degree angle. Your feet should rest firmly on the floor with three inches to six inches of legroom between your lap and desk or keyboard tray. If you have less than three inches of legroom, adjust your desk or keyboard tray height.
  • If you can’t adjust your chair height and your feet don’t reach the floor, use a footrest or wedge-shaped item to support your feet. A 3-ring binder should do the trick.

Monitor your monitor

  • With your lower back supported and feet firmly on the floor or footrest, hold your head upright and look straight at your screen. The top of your monitor should be at or below eye level.
  • If it isn’t, adjust your monitor until it is at a viewing height that will allow you to maintain your head in an upright posture.
  • The screen should be 18 inches to 30 inches from your eyes, or at about arm’s length.

Position your keyboard

  • The proper computer keyboard height can help keep you from bending your wrists while typing. This improves the comfort of your hands, wrists, and forearms, and helps you avoid injury.
  • Place your fingers on the middle row of your keyboard. Your wrists should be straight and relaxed.
  • To help keep your wrists relaxed, try a wrist rest or padded support.

Eliminate glare

  • Make sure your computer screen is free of glare from light coming through outside windows. Adjust the angle of your desk lamp to aim the light at your documents instead of your screen.
  • To help improve viewing comfort, you may also need to adjust your computer screen’s contrast and brightness.

Take small breaks

Throughout the day, it’s important to take small breaks, stretch and readjust your sitting posture. The best thing you can do for yourself is get up and walk around. Get away from your work mentally and physically. It’s good for the circulation and it relieves the pressure that naturally builds up in the back when we sit, thus reducing the accumulation of pressure in the spine over time and decreasing the risk of back pain and injury. The exercises below can help energize your body and relieve muscle tension.

Find recreational outlets outside of work that keep your body toned. Get plenty of sleep and maintain a healthy diet. By learning to take care of your body, you can successfully meet the physical challenges of an office job.

Rest your eyes

  • Lean your elbows on your desk. Cup your hands and place them lightly over your closed eyes.
  • Hold for a minute, while breathing deeply in and out. Slowly uncover your eyes.

Squeeze your shoulders

  • Put your hands up, with your forearms raised.
  • Push your arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades. Hold for a few seconds.
  • Relax and repeat three times.

Stretch your back

  • Sit up straight and imagine you have a cable attached to the top of your head.
  • Feel the cable slowly pull you up higher and higher. Hold for a few seconds.
  • Relax and repeat three times.

Shake your arms

  • While seated, drop your arms and hands to your side.
  • Shake them out gently for a few seconds.
  • Relax and repeat three times.

Shoulder circles and shrugs

  • While standing, lift your shoulders toward your ears. Hold for two seconds.
  • Let them fall and release completely.
  • Repeat two to four times.
  • Still standing, move your shoulders in a backward arc five to 10 times.
  • Repeat several times a day. 
By Rosalyn Kulick

Summary

  • Take small breaks, stretch and readjust your sitting posture.
     
  • Find recreational outlets outside of work that keep your body toned.

You’re sitting at your computer, deep in thought, preparing a report for this afternoon’s meeting. One hour passes, then two. You’re concentrating so intently that time flies by. You almost miss lunch. As an all-too-familiar ache starts to creep through your back, you suddenly realize that you’ve been bent over your computer for hours without getting up. No wonder your body’s starting to protest.

Working at a desk or computer for hours is a physically demanding job. But that doesn’t mean that pain must accompany a 40-hour workweek. It’s definitely not part of the job. If you learn to set up your workspace to fit your body, how to sit and work at your computer using good posture, and take breaks that incorporate physical activity, you can avoid many aches and pains that come from long hours of sitting.

Are you comfortable?

Ergonomics is the science of arranging and adjusting your work environment to fit you and your body. Ergonomic experts recommend taking an inventory of your workspace to be sure that your chair, computer, and documents are at the proper height and angle. Here’s what they recommend:

Check your chair

  • The right chair height helps relieve cramping and stiffness in your legs. It also helps to prevent stress and tension in your neck and shoulders.
  • Place your fingers on the middle row of your keyboard, with your upper arms hanging comfortably at your sides. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor. If they’re not, adjust your chair height.
  • A properly adjusted backrest reduces pressure on your spine and supports your lower back. Sit at your workstation and lean back slightly with your back firmly against the chair. The backrest should fit snugly against your lower back. If it doesn’t, adjust the backrest until your lower back is fully supported.
  • If you can’t adjust the backrest, use a small, thin, firm pillow or rolled-up towel to support your lower back.
  • Move your feet forward until your knees are at a 90-degree to 110-degree angle. Your feet should rest firmly on the floor with three inches to six inches of legroom between your lap and desk or keyboard tray. If you have less than three inches of legroom, adjust your desk or keyboard tray height.
  • If you can’t adjust your chair height and your feet don’t reach the floor, use a footrest or wedge-shaped item to support your feet. A 3-ring binder should do the trick.

Monitor your monitor

  • With your lower back supported and feet firmly on the floor or footrest, hold your head upright and look straight at your screen. The top of your monitor should be at or below eye level.
  • If it isn’t, adjust your monitor until it is at a viewing height that will allow you to maintain your head in an upright posture.
  • The screen should be 18 inches to 30 inches from your eyes, or at about arm’s length.

Position your keyboard

  • The proper computer keyboard height can help keep you from bending your wrists while typing. This improves the comfort of your hands, wrists, and forearms, and helps you avoid injury.
  • Place your fingers on the middle row of your keyboard. Your wrists should be straight and relaxed.
  • To help keep your wrists relaxed, try a wrist rest or padded support.

Eliminate glare

  • Make sure your computer screen is free of glare from light coming through outside windows. Adjust the angle of your desk lamp to aim the light at your documents instead of your screen.
  • To help improve viewing comfort, you may also need to adjust your computer screen’s contrast and brightness.

Take small breaks

Throughout the day, it’s important to take small breaks, stretch and readjust your sitting posture. The best thing you can do for yourself is get up and walk around. Get away from your work mentally and physically. It’s good for the circulation and it relieves the pressure that naturally builds up in the back when we sit, thus reducing the accumulation of pressure in the spine over time and decreasing the risk of back pain and injury. The exercises below can help energize your body and relieve muscle tension.

Find recreational outlets outside of work that keep your body toned. Get plenty of sleep and maintain a healthy diet. By learning to take care of your body, you can successfully meet the physical challenges of an office job.

Rest your eyes

  • Lean your elbows on your desk. Cup your hands and place them lightly over your closed eyes.
  • Hold for a minute, while breathing deeply in and out. Slowly uncover your eyes.

Squeeze your shoulders

  • Put your hands up, with your forearms raised.
  • Push your arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades. Hold for a few seconds.
  • Relax and repeat three times.

Stretch your back

  • Sit up straight and imagine you have a cable attached to the top of your head.
  • Feel the cable slowly pull you up higher and higher. Hold for a few seconds.
  • Relax and repeat three times.

Shake your arms

  • While seated, drop your arms and hands to your side.
  • Shake them out gently for a few seconds.
  • Relax and repeat three times.

Shoulder circles and shrugs

  • While standing, lift your shoulders toward your ears. Hold for two seconds.
  • Let them fall and release completely.
  • Repeat two to four times.
  • Still standing, move your shoulders in a backward arc five to 10 times.
  • Repeat several times a day. 
By Rosalyn Kulick

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2019 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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