Most people spend more time at work than they do at home, and many of us make our living from the confines of an office desk. That’s why it’s no surprise that a great number of Canadian workers complain of ailments such as neck and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. These conditions are usually the result of poorly planned work stations that cater more to efficient use of floor space instead of focusing on employee health and safety. If this sounds like your office we have some tips and tricks to help you make your workspace more ergonomic.
Make Sure Your Chair Is Adjusted Properly. Most of us just sit down at our desks and get to the daily tasks at hand. Taking a few minutes to check that your chair is at an optimal height can really provide relief for your shoulders, neck and back.
- Adjust the seat height so that your feet are flat on the floor
- Ensure your thighs are parallel to the floor
- Knees should be at or slightly below the hips
- Make sure the lower back is supported by the backrest – add a lumbar pillow if required
Adjust Your Screen. It’s a simple tip, but one that often gets overlooked. Your computer monitor should be modified for your comfort level so that you aren’t straining your neck and shoulders to look at it. Make sure the middle of the screen is at eye level so you don’t have to look up or down to see it comfortably. Also ensure that your screen is neither too close nor too far for you – it should be approximately arm’s length from your seated position in order to prevent over extending your neck.
Be Mindful of Your Keyboard and Mouse. If your mouse is set up too far away from your keyboard, or your keyboard is set too high or too low for your height, you run the risk of developing conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Make sure your wrists rest comfortably, using after-market comfort supports if necessary, avoid over reaching, and don’t rest your hand on your mouse while it’s not in use.
Take Stretching Breaks. It only takes a few minutes out of every hour to give your body the break it needs from sitting at a desk all day. Stand up, walk around, and do a few easy stretches. You’ll be surprised at what a difference a little movement can make!
If you do find yourself struggling with chronic pain associated with your work environment, give Kamloops Integrated Wellness a call. We can help you find relief through registered massage therapy and chiropractic care. We can also provide individually tailored advice to help improve your desk ergonomics and promote personal wellness at the office.