Your office may be the place where good ideas come to fruition and productivity soars, but it, unfortunately, can also become the place where you find your joint pain is most triggered. Imagine the amount of strain that is placed on your body while simultaneously sitting in a chair, lurching over the keys of your computer while at the same time balancing a phone between your shoulder and ear. And full-time workers do that for over 2,000 hours each year! Consider these tips to help pain-proof your office or workstation.
1. Choose the right chair – Finding a comfortable and supportive chair is as important as finding a good quality mattress. Remember you going to be using it for about 2,000 hours a year… that’s a lot of sitting. You have to make sure you’re comfortable. You don’t want to have anything that is lacking in support for your lower back and you should also make sure that you are able to adjust the seat height. Your feet should always be resting flat on the floor so your knees are level with your hips.
You could always skip the quest to find the perfect chair and instead go for a standing desk instead; which has been proven to help you avoid many of the scary consequences associated with prolonged sitting.
2. Think ergonomically when setting up your workstation – Computer monitors should always be visible without having to lean in or strain your body in any way. The top line of type should be roughly 15 degrees below eye level. This helps you maintain proper posture and prevent straining your neck by looking down. You can also use audio equipment that keeps you from bending your neck (i.e., Bluetooth, speakerphones, headsets). You are able to avoid carpal tunnel symptoms by making sure that your wrists are not forced to bend to use the keyboard. In general, your forearms and wrists should not be leaning on a hard edge.
3. Take breaks – Taking a 10-second break every 20 minutes can be extremely beneficial. Standing, walking, or moving your head in a “plus sign” fashion are a few ideas to keep loose. And remember not to be afraid to stretch. One exercise we often recommend is called the “Bruegger Relief Stretch”. Click here to learn how it’s done.
Preventative care is always the best solution for workstation injuries. Small adjustments to your workstation and posture will make a noticeable difference in how your body feels during your workday. Download this helpful infographic to learn more about proper workstation set-up.