Some of the most common workplace injuries in the office are related to back or neck strain or repetitive strain injury (RSI). By setting up your ergonomic workstation correctly, you can reduce your risk of work-related injury. Setting up your ergonomic workstation properly involves choosing the proper equipment, adjusting it to fit your body, and using it all correctly. If used properly, your ergonomic workstation can improve your physical well being as you use it.
A properly set-up and properly used ergonomic workstation can help with the following:
- Reducing back and neck pain
- Reducing the risk of carpal tunnel
- Reducing or eliminating eye strain
- Balancing the pressure throughout your body while sitting
Here are some basic guidelines to consider to help you set up your ergonomic workstation.
1. Start with the chair.
Your ergonomic chair is one of the most important parts of your ergonomic workstation. Your chair should be adjustable at, at least 6 points for the most comfort and support. Here’s how to adjust your ergonomic chair for your body:
- Height—You want your feet to sit flat on the floor, with your legs at a 90-degree angle.
- Depth—Adjust the seat of the chair forward or backward so that your back is fully supported by the backrest.
- Tilt—If you choose to angle the seat forward, you’ll be putting the least amount of stress on your muscles, especially your back. Your spine should be slightly relaxed and follow its natural curve.
- Lumbar Support—Adjust the height and depth of the lumbar support so that your entire back is supported, encouraging you to have good posture.
- Tension—You can adjust the tilt tension to control the resistance of the chair’s tilt. With the most resistance, you won’t be able to lean back very far in the chair.
- Armrests—Your armrests can be adjusted up and down and front and back. Should you choose to use them, make sure your forearms can sit comfortably, parallel to the floor.
2. Adjust your computer monitor.
By adjusting your computer monitor to its ideal position, you can avoid neck and eye strain. You’ll want to center your monitor directly in front of you so you don’t have to twist your spine to see what you’re working on. Position your monitor so that the middle of the screen is level with your eyes. You’ll also want to tilt your screen upward, slightly. This will help you see the screen more clearly. While you’re working, you want to sit about arm’s length away from the monitor.
3. Use an ergonomic keyboard or adjust your existing one.
Using your keyboard incorrectly can lead to wrist pain, carpal tunnel, or an RSI. You may want to consider an adjustable keyboard or an adjustable tray. Your keyboard should be positioned just above your lap and angled slightly down (away from you). This way, your fingers and wrists can mirror their natural shapes.
4. Set up and use your mouse correctly.
Your mouse should be close to your keyboard so that you can easily access it. Make sure that your mouse fits comfortably in your hand, as one that is too big can be cause strain on your wrist. Depending on your job tasks, you may want to look into a mouse that works like a joystick, a touch bad, or another ergonomic mouse for more comfort.
5. Position and use your phone correctly.
You’ll want to keep your phone within reach, so you don’t have to stretch to pick it up and put it down. If you need to make frequent calls or use your computer while on the phone, consider a headset to avoid neck or shoulder pain.
Contact us for help choosing the right ergonomic furniture and products or assistance setting up your ergonomic workstation. Click below to learn more about our ergonomic services.