The Ten Commandments of Office Ergonomics
- Make sure that the weight of your arms is supported at all times. If your arms are not supported, the muscles of your neck and shoulders will undergo severe stress by the end of the day and get sore. In the long run, it leads to a very tight neck and nape of the neck muscles.
- Understand the spatial orientation of your head, and try to keep the weight of your head directly above the neck. Don’t “crane” your head and neck forward. Either to view smaller fonts or to squint through dimly lit areas.
- Sit Erect. Slouching puts more pressure on the discs and vertebrae of your back. Use the lumbar support of your chair Your Physiotherapist at Grant Gibson’s Surrey Sport & Rehabilitation can help you understand what you need and where to source it from, and avoid sitting in a way that places body weight more on one than on the other. Move your chair as close to your work as possible to avoid leaning and reaching. Always pull the chair close to the table instead of leaning all the way to the keyboard.
- The monitor should be placed directly in front of you, with the top no higher than eye level. The keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor so you don’t have to frequently turn your head and neck. Other Items of use, like the phone, the sticky notes, the files should be placed within reach and not involve more turning or twisting to reach for them.
- Invest in a headset or any new Bluetooth® or hands-free unit. Talking on the phone with the phone receiver stuck between the neck and ear is a really bad practice. It will only lead to more neck pain and stiffness issues in the future.
- The keyboard and the mouse should close enough to prevent excessive reaching which strains the shoulders and arms. Refer to point #3 for more accurate sitting and placements.
- Avoid eye strain by making sure that your monitor is not too close, it should be at least an arm’s length away.
- Take steps to control screen glare, and make sure that the monitor is not placed in front of a window or a bright background. Plus an anti-glare screen guard works wonders if you spend lots of time in front of a computer screen. The lighting behind or over you should not be reflected onto the screen as it puts a lot of strain into the eyes.
- You can rest your eyes periodically for several seconds by looking at objects at a distance to give your eyes a break. Grant Gibson’s Surrey Sport & Rehabilitation has designed a special eye care exercise program for helping you out after an assessment.
- The feet should not be dangling when you are seated. If your feet don’t comfortably reach the floor or there is pressure on the backs of your legs, use a footrest or lower the keyboard and chair. Online, you can find a lot of postural advices but the best way is to get your assessment done by a Physiotherapist and then implement the changes in your routine and Feel Better and Stay Better.