You might be familiar with the term "ergonomics," if your work involves sitting at a desk and using a computer for most of the workday. Ergonomics is the scientific study of human work. It considers the physical and mental capabilities and limits of the worker as he or she interacts with tools, equipment, work methods, tasks and the working environment.
While it's important to use proper posture when sitting at your desk in the workplace, it's also important to practice while at home.
Do you do any of the following?
- Do you use your home computer to check email, play a computer game, or use social media for 30 minutes to an hour or more?
- Do you scrapbook, sitting for hours at a time working on those special memories?
- Do you knit, crochet or sew for long periods of time?
These are just a few activities in which a correct ergonomic design can make the task easier and more efficient. Here are a few tips from Via Christi's Back to Action program that should be considered with work or home activities that last for more than 30 minutes:
- The desk height from floor to the desk top should be around 30 inches. This allows room under the desk or table for your legs to fit comfortably.
- If using a keyboard, it should be placed on the desk as flat as possible. This position will keep the wrists and fingers in a straighter, less strained position. This will also decrease neck pain, by decreasing the tension on the nerve.
- If the keyboard has feet on it to raise it up, close them and lay the keyboard flat. This could take a few days to get used to, but the advantages are worth it.
- Feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest. The chair seat needs to be at the height that allows you to look straight ahead at the middle of your monitor without tilting your head up or down. If raising the seat to this height does not allow your feet to be firmly supported, then a footrest will be necessary.
- Knees should be bent at 90 degrees and approximately two finger widths from the back of the knee to the edge of seat.
- Hips should be bent at 90 degrees allowing you to sit in a more upright position.
- The back of your chair should be positioned so that the small of your back feels supported when sitting upright. It's preferred that the chair's tilt or rocking motion be locked while you're working.
- Armrests should be adjusted to support the forearms at a position that allows the shoulders to stay relaxed when using the keyboard. The preferred position is elbows bent at 90 degrees and armrests level with desktop.
These suggestions can easily be applied to many areas of your life to make you more comfortable and efficient.
Remember, it's important to make your worksite or hobby area work for your comfort.
Via Christi Women's Connection
A women's network focused on giving you the news and information you need to keep yourself and loved one's healthy