May 1, 2020
Ergonomics is about arranging our environments so we can work comfortably and safely, no matter where you’re working—virtually, in the office, or on the move.
BASICS TO SET UP YOUR WORK STATION
To understand the best way to set up a computer workstation, it is helpful to understand the concept of neutral body positioning. Neutral body position is a comfortable posture where your joints are properly aligned. It helps to reduce stress on your body and decrease the risk of injury.
Read below to learn about neutral body posture and tips for adjusting your chair, monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
- Head is level and forward facing, with ears aligned over shoulders.
- Monitor- top should be at or slightly below eye level
- Arms- relaxed with elbows bent 90-120°. Hands, wrists and forearms are relaxed but straight and in-line, and roughly parallel to the floor
- Chair- hips should be towards the back of the chair and the curve at the small of the back should have support when sitting vertical or leaning back slightly
- Legs- thighs parallel to the floor with feet fully supported by the floor if the desk or chair height can’t be adjusted. Some people may need a small footrest
- Feet- feet are slightly forward of the knees
Here are examples of neutral body positions for seated and standing work stations. For a standing work station, the same posture tips apply for the head, monitor height, and arms. Supportive shoes should be worn and an anti-fatigue mat may be helpful for some people.
MOVE THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY
Regardless of proper ergonomics, working in the same posture or sitting still for long durations can have negative impacts on your health and mindset. Fitting in a brief stretch or walk, or changing your working position throughout the day can be beneficial. Try these tips:
- Make small adjustments to your chair or backrest.
- Take a moment to stand and stretch before or after a meeting or phone call
- Stand up and walk around for a few minutes periodically—try setting a reminder on your calendar
- If you’re able, shift to a standing position or for some of your tasks such as phone calls or reading emails, or try a walking meeting.
- Look for opportunities to take the stairs.
- 10,000 steps a day is recommended for general health and well being. Set smaller goals for points in time when you’ll aim to get your steps in. For example, you could aim to complete half of your steps before lunch and another 2,500 before and after dinner.
OSHA, ACE Fitness, Blue Arbor
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