Ergonomics at the Office – PAM Ergonomics
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Ergonomics at the Office

Ergonomics at the Office

Office ergonomics has become a hot topic over recent years as people have become more and more aware of the potential dangers that come with spending hours sat down at a desk. And it can feel like the dangers are all around you! You have to sit in the right way, on the right chair, at the right desk, and if you don’t then you can be left with persistent lower back pain, among many other things.

Well, luckily, office ergonomics is not as cut and dry as this. You are in fact safe to sit in a huge variety of chairs, at a plethora of desks, and you can even sit in many different positions too, provided that you are following just a few ergonomic best practices.

In this post, we are going to go over all the information that you might need in order to ensure that you have the most ergonomic desk sitting posture, allowing you to work comfortably and pain free for as many years as possible.

How to set up your desk ergonomically

There are multiple factors that come into play concerning how to sit at a desk ergonomically. This includes desk height, monitor height and position, chair height, and keyboard and mouse location.

The most common desk heights fall between 28 and 30 inches from the floor. This height is suitable for users between 5’8” and 5’10”, but is not ideal for anybody outside of that height range. This is why adjustable sit stand desks have become popular, and are recommended by ergonomic experts the world over.

However, we understand that at work you may not have much of a say in what desk you are provided, and fortunately you are able to make adjustments to your desk set up if your height does not match your desk.

If you are too small for your desk, then you will hopefully be sat in a chair that has an adjustable height. So, adjust your height to a suitable level and then use a footrest if needed so your back can touch the backrest and your feet can touch the floor.

And if you are too tall when sitting at your desk, then either use a riser on the surface of your desk to raise the contents higher or place four very sturdy objects underneath the desk legs.

Correct posture at the computer

The correct posture at work with a computer relates specifically to the placement of your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Your monitor should be around an arm’s length away from you, and the screen should not exceed eye level. This means that you will be able to view the whole screen without straining your neck or needing to lean closer to the screen and distorting your posture.

Then your keyboard and mouse should be on your desk at around elbow height, so that you can use your computer without bending your wrists.

Lastly, your knees should be bent at roughly 90o. Do not cross your legs or feet under your desk, instead plant your feet flat on the floor. So keep the area under your desk clear so that there is enough room for both of your legs.

Ergonomics advice

Encouraging the correct office chair posture is more than sitting in the right position or being at the right height for your desk. There are rules that you should follow on top these to supplement your ergonomics and keep your body in the best shape.

This includes not reaching for objects while seated. It may seem harmless to lean to grab a pen or a drink, but this small strain on your muscle can result in an injury which will then impact the rest of your body and posture.

Next, if you spend long periods of time sitting at a desk then you should remember to take regular standing breaks. For example, for every hour you are seated, you should stand walk around for about five minutes. Include a gentle full body stretch if possible to keep your body in the best shape.

How long does it take to correct posture?

Our posture is a habit that we fall into. If we fall into a bad habit of poor posture, then it can take some time to correct this. It can take anywhere from a month to six months before your new habit of sitting properly is cemented.

The best way to think of it is that you want to be able to sit correctly without thinking about it. Unfortunately, for most people, when they stop thinking about their posture their body resorts to slouching. This is why it is important to form good habits so that you can rely on your body to do good things for you.

If you invest in good, ergonomically sound equipment and really force yourself to pay attention to your posture at the workplace, then slowly but surely you will begin to reap the rewards of good posture. Niggly pains in your back, neck, shoulders, or wrists should start to lessen, and you will be more comfortable as a result.

Desk posture tips from PAM Ergonomics

We hope that you have found some of our advice on the correct desk sitting posture helpful, and that you have been encouraged to make positive changes for the benefit of your physical health.

For ergonomic tips that you can use at work, or for ergonomic desk accessories, then get in touch with our experts at 66ergonomics and we would be happy to help.

If you are still experiencing pain that you think is a result of your posture, then it is advised that you see a doctor to ensure that your pain is not a symptom of any other issues.