Give your work station a health makeover

A recent poll determined that 86% of office workers were causing health problems due to improper set up of their work station leading to pain, fatigue and decreased productivity. Implementing a few simple changes will not only improve your health, it will improve your productivity too!

Research has shown an increase in 9.8% productivity just from simple ergonomic workplace improvements.

Here are some tips to be more productive at work while at the same time improve your overall health

workstation chairs
Using a chair adequate for lumbar support is very important

1. Properly adjust your workstation chairs

Most experts agree that your chair is probably the most important item in your workstation.

Your chair should be adjusted to allow you to have both feet flat on the ground with your hips and knees at a 90 degree angle. If your feet don’t reach the ground, place a footrest below your feet. 

Your chair should also provide adequate lumbar support. If your chair does not have lumbar support, roll up a towel and place it approximately the level of your bellybutton.

Lastly, the front chair edge should not be touching the back of your knees. You should be able to fit a fist between the back of your knee and the chair to avoid circulation problems.

The height of your chair should be positioned so that you can maintain a neutral position of your wrists while typing. To avoid excessive wrist flexion for prolonged periods of time, a small cushion can be placed under your wrists for support. 

workstation monitor
Proper monitor placement at your workstation helps

2. Check your monitor placement

Your monitor should be placed approximately arm’s length (18”-24”) in front of you at eye level. This will reduce strain on  eye and neck muscles and protect long term damage to your cervical spine. To avoid looking down while reading, place documents in document holder at eye level.

3. Use a headset

Utilize a headset or hands free telephone to prevent holding your phone with your neck bent and shoulder contracted.

The headset or hands free telephone allows you to move around comfortably and perform your job tasks with good posture while still able to talk on the phone

4. Organize your work station

Organize your work station to avoid repetitive bending, twisting or reaching while seated. Place most commonly used items in front of you at arms reach. 

posture breaks at the office
Stretch after hours of sitting

5. Take posture breaks

Finally, Take posture breaks every 30 minutes for 30 seconds by standing up and stretching your chest and neck muscles. Your body was not designed to sit for prolonged periods.

The spine is generally strong enough to tolerate the pressure of poor posture for about 20 minutes, before the vertebral discs start to absorb the pressure.

Parting words

The benefits of an ergonomically efficient workspace are clear. Research has shown an increase energy, respiration, cardiovascular circulation, and decrease back pains, depression, and fatigue. By making these simple changes and posture breaks throughout the day, you can reduce the risk of degenerative disease and fatigue while improving productivity and mood. A winning combination for everyone.