If you work in an office, or at home, chances are you’re one of the 139 million Americans who work on a computer. Back problems, neck pain, headaches, and even problems with vision can be caused by poorly adjusted equipment. Here are some things you can do to help improve your office ergonomics and avoid a knee or back reinjury:
Sit the right way at your computer.
- Sit tall, shoulders back, without arching your back. Make sure your feet are planted firmly on the ground. Avoid crossing your legs.
- Support your thighs and hips with a well-padded seat that’s parallel to the floor. Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Keep knees about the same height as hips, with feet slightly forward. If you can’t raise or lower your chair to the right height, try using a footstool.
- Your upper arms should be perpendicular to the floor. Your lower arms should be parallel to the floor, creating a 90-degree bend in your elbows.
- Your keyboard should be right underneath your hands with your wrists straight.
- Adjust your screen to be about one arm’s length away from your body. The top of the screen should be at eye level so you aren’t straining your neck.
- Frequently used items should be within an arm’s length so you can avoid awkward reaching.
- If an item from a shelf is needed, stand up and/or use a step stool to get the item, in order to minimize overhead reaching.
- If you share a work station with people on another shift, you will want to adjust your work area (chair, computer screen, and items on your desk) to your needs before you begin your work day.
- Change body positions frequently to maintain comfort and prevent stiffness.