Back pains? Muscle pains? Does it sound familiar to you? In this article, we are going to discuss some ways that you can prevent this type of painful problems associated with your work area, in the office.
Working with the body in a neutral position always reduces stress and strain on the muscles, the tendons, and the skeletal system. It also reduces your risk of developing what we call a “musculoskeletal disorder” or MSD. The following things are crucial when you are attempting to maintain a neutral body posture while working at the computer workstation.
Remember to watch your hands, wrists, and forearms and make sure they are straight, in-line, and roughly parallel to the floor. It is very important that your head is levelled or slightly forward, and it feels balanced.
Generally, the body must be in line with your whole torso. Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and your upper arms hanging fairly normally at the side of your body. It is important to keep your elbows close to the body, and they are angled at about 90 to 120 degrees. It might sound really technical, but it’s actually the way it’s going to feel most natural when you are working at your workstation.
Your feet should be fully supported by either the floor or a footrest, and that footrest should be adjustable so that your desk height is also going to be about neutral with the way your legs lay underneath the desk.
Your back is also an important part of this equation, and it should be fully supported with the appropriate lumbar support when you are sitting vertical or even if you decide to lean the back slightly. It’s going to be important to make sure your thighs and your hips are supported by a well-padded seat and generally they’re also going to be parallel to the floor. Your knees are about the same height as your hips and slightly forward.
Now regardless how good your working posture is, working in the same posture or sitting still for any prolonged period of time no matter what the reason is – this is never healthy! You should change your working position frequently throughout the day and there are some really nice ways to make these adjustments. You can make small adjustments to your chair or to your backrest. Make sure to stretch your fingers, hands, arms, and torso or simply stand up and walk around for a few minutes periodically.
The following four postures are just some examples of body posture changes that will provide neutral positioning for the body. The key is not to slouch, but to keep the back well supported regardless of the posture.
1. The upright sitting posture
2. The declined sitting posture
3. The standing posture
4. The reclined sitting posture
A chair that is well designed and appropriately adjusted is essential. It is and extremely safe and productive way to make your computer station work for you. A good chair provides necessary support to the back, the legs, the buttocks, and your arms while reducing exposure to awkward postures (such as contact stress which we find a lot of times in the elbows). The increased adjustability ensures a better fit for the user, and it provides adequate support in a variety of sitting postures. It also allows variability of sitting positions throughout the work day, and this is particularly important if the chair is going to have multiple users.
As a conclusion, use an adjustable ergonomic office chair to avoid creating pain, pressure, and developing MSD!