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Posted on 08-31-2016

Creating an Ergonomic Work Space

Although it isn't technically physically demanding, sitting at a desk all day can take a serious toll on your body and physical well-being. Staring at a computer screen all day while sitting improperly can cause eyestrain and increase tension in your spine, neck and back. If you want to create a more ergonomic work space and improve your spinal health, check out the following tips from Advantage Walk-In Chiropractic:

Tip 1: Discover your natural posture

Start by moving your chair away from the desk and simply sitting down in the way most comfortable to you. Your feet will be on the floor in front of you and the shoulders are relaxed so you can lean back a bit. Natural posture means your vertebrae are stacked, your back moves as you breathe and your pelvis is positioned so that the spine is stacked properly.

Tip 2: Strategically set up your keyboard and mouse

The keyboard and mouse should be positioned in a way that keeps your elbows to your sides and your arms at or below a 90-degree angle. This will reduce muscle load and prevent straining. If you have a pull-out keyboard tray, the keyboard should be one to two inches above your thighs and titled down and away from you, allowing your arms and hand to follow the downward slope of your thighs.

Ideally, the keyboard and mouse should be shoulder-distance apart and as level as possible. To achieve this, consider purchasing a keyboard without a number pad, as this ensures that the letter keys are centered. You should also think about purchasing a flat mouse that will be on-level with the keyboard.

Tip 3: Position your screens carefully

If your screen is too far away you'll start to crane your neck in attempt to "reach" it. Sit back, extend your arm and if your middle finger tip lands on the screen, you're in the best position. Set up two monitors side by side with no gap. If you use both equally, center them both. Your finger tip should always touch both monitors when extending your arm.

As far as height is concerned, your eyes should always land on the address bar of the screen. If they do not, adjust the screens. For the perfect angle, tilt the monitors slightly down to avoid reflections.

Tip 4: Adjust your chair

Consider the natural posture again. Your tailbone should stick out a bit, vertebrae slightly curved and the lumbar portion of your spine should point in toward your stomach. Finding a chair with good lumbar support will help maintain this posture. There should always be a little space between the edge of the chair and the back of your knees, roughly the size of your fist.

When sitting, your feet should be on the floor, never dangling, and thighs should be slightly below the hips. If you're shorter, you can use a footrest and if you're very tall you can adjust the desk height. If you're ever tucking your feet behind you or sitting on one leg, the chair needs adjustment.

Tip 5: Take breaks to move around

Remember to get up and move once an hour. Stretching your body is the best way to combat the health issues that come from extended amounts of sitting. Try setting an alarm to remind you that it's time to get up and move.

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