5 Healthy Tips for Improving Ergonomics at Your Desk

Tuesday March 21st, 2017

Estimated time to read: 1 minute, 30 seconds

The average office worker spends at least 6 hours per day, 5 days a week, sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen. At the end of your workday, you may experience tension in your arms, hands, and/or wrists, pain in your back, neck, or shoulders, and/or blurred vision and tired eyes. Follow these healthy tips to improve the way you feel during and after work.

Take a Stretch Break

A few times per hour, get up from your desk and stretch. Stretch your shoulders, neck, wrists, back, and legs to eliminate tension and strain. Take a few minutes to focus on something across the room or out the window, away from your computer screen, to give your eyes a rest. If you have some extra time during your break, take a walk around the office or better yet, head outside to enjoy some sunshine.

Feet Flat on the Floor

Sitting with your legs or ankles crossed for long periods of time will put excess pressure on your spine from top to bottom, starting with your neck and going down to your lower back. You may also notice elevated blood pressure when you cross your leg at the knee. Putting that pressure on your legs can lead to spider veins and even cause nerve damage in your feet. Keep your feet planted on the floor while you work to prevent these problems.

Adjust the Monitor

If your monitor sits directly on top of your desk, you may be subconsciously craning your neck down to see it. The top of your screen should be level with your eyes, so move the monitor accordingly to prevent neck strain. Having it too high can also lead to dry eyes.

Stay Alert

When you get bogged down with tasks, it’s easy to lose track of how you’re sitting or skip out on your stretch breaks. Set up alerts on your computer or phone to remind you to stretch and move. If you absolutely don’t have time to take a break, simply set a reminder to check your posture every hour. Sitting hunched over your computer screen is common when you’re feeling stressed, so taking a minute to reset your posture and sit up straight can help relieve some of the tension.

Consider Other Ways to Work

If your workplace offers other options to sitting at a desk all day, take advantage! You may want to look into upgrading to a sit/stand desk or even one that allows you stand throughout the workday. A treadmill desk allows you to get some exercise while you accomplish tasks. If these aren’t available, try sitting on an exercise ball for a few hours a day to strengthen your core and improve your posture.

With a few simple changes to the way you work, you can enjoy better posture, less pain and discomfort, reduced tension, and overall better productivity.

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