If you spend many hours sitting at a desk, it’s important to make sure that your office is set up comfortably and correctly.
Here are some top tips on adapting your office environment, so that you’re not left with a bad back and aching wrists!
1. Adjust Your Chair
Most offices now use adjustable chairs, and these are great for ensuring that you don’t develop bad posture from sitting at an awkward angle.
However these chairs are only beneficial if you actually do adjust them. Many people never bother adjusting their chairs aside from moving the seat up and down.
Spend 5 minutes adjusting the back of your chair to a comfortable angle and ensure that the height is correct.
If your chair is adjusted properly, it will help to prevent backache and joint problems.
2. Raise or Lower Your Keyboard
Typing uses lots of short sharp movements (often at an awkward angle), that cause micro-trauma to your hands, which can eventually result in a repetitive stress injury such as Tendonitis.
Think about getting yourself an ergonomic keyboard. These keyboards are designed to create more natural wrist alignment. Many keyboards come with flaps at the back that allow you to raise them up; by raising these flaps on an ergonomic keyboard, your hands will stay in a natural position.
But if you don’t have an ergonomic keyboard, it’s actually better to leave the flaps down. Otherwise the keyboard forces your hands to be positioned at an awkward angle that can lead to injury.
3. Buy a Wrist Rest
If you have adjusted your keyboard correctly and still find that you have aching wrists, then don’t hesitate to buy a wrist support.
Used correctly, a wrist rest will allow your wrists to remain straight, minimising the level of trauma to your hands.
You should also be sure to sit up straight and maintain a good posture, and avoid leaning your wrists on your desk.
4. Adjust Your Monitor
If you are sat staring at a screen all day, it’s no wonder that you end up with aching eyes. But finding the right light level can be a challenge. Too bright and your eyes will suffer from the glare; too dim and your eyes will strain to see.
Adjust your monitor slightly each day for a week, and see how tired your eyes feel at the end of each day. You’ll soon find out the setting that works best for you.
It’s also recommended to sit at a distance from the screen (approximately 50-100cm) and it’s important to take frequent breaks. Try to spend 10 minutes of every hour brainstorming on a paper pad, instead of typing up your ideas.
5. Oil Your Cabinets
One of the easiest ways to pick up a back injury later in life must be from repeatedly opening stiff drawers. If you are frequently opening and shutting drawers at work, made sure that they glide open smoothly, otherwise suggest that they should be oiled. If the problem is simply that they are too full, then find somewhere else for the contents to go. Whether it’s a display cabinet you open once a month or a drawer you open a hundred times a day, it’s not worth leaving it and suffering years of pain further down the line.
It’s amazing how many hazards can be lurking around your workspace, but with a few simple adjustments you can save yourself from lots of future discomfort!
Do you have any tips for making your office environment more comfortable?
James Duval is an I.T. manager by day and an avid blogger by night. He can often be found glued to his Xbox or practising the guitar. In his spare time he blogs for Great Furniture Trading Company.