Ergonomics is the applied science of designing and developing equipment, workstation layout and work strategies to best suit and protect the human body. The goal of ergonomics is to minimize fatigue, discomfort, injury and emotional stress.
It's important to recognize that even the most ergonomically correct environment will not prevent repetitive stress injuries if the body is simply overworked. The body has limitations with what it can withstand. Surpassing those limitations will most definitely result in injury.
If you are a person who works behind a desk, we would like to give you a few tips to help you practice ideal ergonomics:
-Use the 90/90/90/90 rule when seated: keep your elbows, knees, hips, and ankles at a 90 degree angle.
-Sit back in your chair with your feet flat on the ground.
-Adjust your computer screen so your eyes line up with the top 1/3 of it. This eliminates you having to bend your neck down, or up, to properly see your screen.
-Change the contrast on your screen to decrease stress on your eyes.
-Get up and move every 30-45 minutes to wake up your muscles and keep adequate blood flow throughout your body.
-Be aware of your posture. Think about your shoulder placement and try to be conscious if you are slouching. Focus on bringing your shoulder blades together if you catch yourself rounding them forward.
-Move your computer closer to you if you find you are leaning forward to see it.
We like to encourage standing desks. It has been proven that prolonged sitting every single day can increase health risks. Standing desks are a great alternative and often can be adjusted to sitting desks if you need a break from standing. Here are a few tips on how to properly use a standing desk:
-Stand with the computer monitor about 2 feet away from your face.
-Tilt the monitor slightly upwards.
-Place your keyboard slighltly below elblow level.
-Use a standing mat for increased comfort.
-Adjust the height of the desk to ensure you are not slouching or bending to see your work.
-Don't lock at the knees.
-Remember to take breaks to move around.