Sitting up straight at the workplace can be a job in itself. The monotony of some tasks can physically compel us to slouch and sigh. But bad posture is nothing to shrug away. It can have long-term implications on our professional and personal health. A daily eight-hour stoop could lead to years of chronic backache, and money spent on medications and chiropractor visits.
When it comes to our lumbar health, prevention through a few techniques is always better than trying to cure persistent pains. Here’s how to train yourself into being more posture-savvy in the workplace.
Adjusting yourself on your chair
Having ergonomic furniture, especially office chairs, is a key component to improving your overall posture. The more room for adjustments (such as height and backrest angle), the better equipped your chair will be to support you during long hours at work. Good furniture can reduce the incidence of muscle strains and pains and increase productivity by helping you be comfortable through the day.
- Place your hips toward the back of the seat, as far as you can go.
- The height of the seat should be tweaked so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor.
- Your knees should be level with your hips or just a tad lower.
- If your chair has an adjustable backrest, keep it at an angle of recline between 100 and 110 degrees.
- Lean comfortably and check whether your back is being adequately supported. Small cushions can help lend added support.
- Your armrests should be positioned so that your elbows are bent in a comfortable L-shape and your shoulders are relaxed.
Positioning your keyboard
Keep your keyboard as close to you as possible so that you are not shuffling or leaning forward while working.
- Your keyboard should be close to the front of your body so that your hands can comfortably rest on the keys without straining your arms.
- Your hands and wrists should be aligned straight as they rest on the desk and keyboard.
- Your elbows should be at a slightly wide angle of about 100 to 110 degrees.
- Adjust your work desk to the right height to meet these criteria. In case your desk is not height-adjustable, you could adjust your chair to obtain the correct posture. Keep in mind to get a footstool in case your feet do not comfortably reach the floor.
Setting up your computer
You may not think it, but the way your screen is positioned can greatly affect your posture. An awkwardly-placed screen can result in neck and back strain.
- If you work on a laptop or computer, make sure that the screen is directly in front of you.
- The top of the screen should be positioned about 2 inches above your eye level when you are seated.
- If you wear bifocals, you may need to adjust the screen a little lower so that you can read the screen comfortably.
- Your computer screen needs to be a few feet away from you. Stretch your arm out for a good approximate and then adjust the screen’s position a few inches appropriately.
Organizing your desk
A cluttered or messy desk can be stressful to look at, especially on a daily basis. Having a workstation with storage is a great way to keep rarely used items and paperwork away from your visual realm and promote your mental wellbeing. Keep only what is most important on hand.
- If you have a telephone you use often, place it within easy reach.
- Consider getting a hands-free headset if you take calls frequently to avoid neck strain when holding the receiver and working.
Taking regular breaks
Setting up your workstation well is key to maintaining good posture throughout the workday. Taking regular breaks can help you keep muscle and eye strain at bay.
- Every hour, take a short break away from your desk. Go for a walk, take calls while moving about, or shift to another area in the office for 5 minutes.
- Lunch is the perfect time to get a mental break and some activity incorporated into a sedentary workday. Don’t get lunch at your desk.
- Simple eye exercises can help prevent eye strain. Every hour or so, look away from your screen and focus on an object in the distance. Closing your eyes for a few seconds can also help rest them during long hours in front of the screen.
Renting ergonomic office furniture can go a long way toward improving your posture and overall wellness. Good quality, stylish furniture can transform an office into a comfortable, welcoming and motivating place to work in.
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