Perfect Posture

For many, having worked from home for an extended period, we have realised the importance of having a good work-station set-up to keep us functioning and out of pain.  So as we continue our transition towards hybrid working we must remember that good ergonomics is vital.  As a reminder, good ergonomics is not just about furniture.  Rather, it is more focused on people in their working environment with the aim of increasing comfort and productivity. 

Although there are numerous factors that need to be taken into consideration we consider the five top tips to remember:

  1. Environment: Is your environment that you work in comfortable?  This can include the lighting, the temperature, which way you are facing, noise, distractions.  Pay attention to these factors and this in itself can enhance how much work you get done.

  2. You:  Good ergonomics has to take into account your body with all its attributes.  If you have a stiff neck when you look down then it’s a good idea to avoid that position of pain if you can.  It would also be a great idea to see if your neck can be improved but that’s for another conversation.  Do your eyes struggle with glare?  If so, facing a window may not be the best idea and you may have to rethink which way you are positioned.  Do you suffer with regular sciatic or disc pain? if so you may have to think immediately about better chairs and a standing setup.  

  3. Chair:  Dining room chairs - good for eating, bad for working!  Have you got support in your lower back when you sit?  Do your armrests get in the way, stopping you getting close to the desk.  Unfortunately, there’s no gold standard in chairs.  Very expensive chairs are not always the most comfortable but cheap chairs may not last very long.  The important thing is to try before you buy.  

  4. Desks:  Curved desks look pretty and fit nicely in the room, but if you are using one you have to be disciplined to turn and avoid twisting.  Straight desks are much simpler but your legs have to fit comfortably in the hole.  Too high and your wrists kink, too low and you start to lean forward.  

  5. Laptop or desktop: Laptops are not actually designed to be used on your lap. Likewise, desktops are supposed to be used on a desk.  For those of you that don’t have access to an alternative computer and have to use a laptop for work, then using a wireless keyboard and mouse could save you huge amounts of pain.

Remember it only takes a little forward thinking and planning to make improvements to your workstation and workplace environment.  Small incremental improvements can often lead to large improvements in feelings of discomfort.  The key is to check your setup regularly and make the corrections as you need. 

Author: Dr. Adam Greenfield, Co-founder of WorkLifeWell | Doctor of Chiropractic | Wellness Specialist

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