Is ergonomics becoming more important than economics in the workplace? Studies agree that efficiency in the workplace – the definition of ergonomics – is emerging as a focus for successful companies. It’s a simple theory: work with comfort then you work with coherence.
Screen time and the workplace are practically synonymous in today’s increasingly digital society. This usually means sitting in front of a screen for hours at a time. It’s not news to you that this can be a strenuous, occasionally painful task. It may be news that years of bad habits and stiffness can result in permanent hand damage, neck damage, or degeneration of the cervical discs. Here are a few basic tips to keep yourself pain free at your desk.
Chiefly, you should make sure that your computer monitor, or whatever screen you’re looking forward at, is sitting comfortably at your eye level. A general rule of thumb is that your eyes should be parallel with the top third of the screen. This reduces stress on your neck, as you won’t be forced to subconsciously look up at the screen. Even a few degrees of turning your neck up or down can add pain over time.
Posture is equally important. According to Spine-Health.com, while sitting at your desk “your feet should be flat on the floor, and the height of the chair should allow your thighs to angle down slightly.” This sitting position emphasizes the “sitting bones” instead of the lower back where stress is often added by lurching forward in the seat.
There are a few simple office chair stretches that you can do every morning to reduce stress on your neck and back. One such stretch, the Reverse Arch Stretch, can cover most of the muscles that you’re straining while sitting in a chair. The stretch is detailed here at Spine-Health.com, with photos included. Stretch breaks are essential to keeping your muscles happy, and your day will go that much smoother when your body isn’t screaming at you.
If you’re really looking to work in comfort, you may want to invest in a new office chair. Some things to consider while choosing the right ergonomic chair for yourself: seat height, seat width and depth, lumbar support, backrest quality and seat material. Prices for a new chair can range from $20.00 for armless chairs, all the way into the thousands for high end chairs.