How does your work environment make you feel – that is, how does it make your body feel? It’s an unfortunate reality that a desk job can take a toll on your body, making everything from your wrists to your neck to your eyes sore and stiff. Fortunately, you don’t have to settle for the aches and pains, and can set up an ergonomic desk to combat the effects of a long day of work.
You’ve probably heard the word “ergonomic” before. The term is defined as “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.” Put simply – with the right setup, your body will feel better at the end of the day!
Not sure where to start as you create a comfortable and efficient workspace? Experts recommend considering the following:
Start by evaluating your posture. Before anything else, it’s important to see where your body naturally falls while sitting. To find out, sit in a chair, letting your body fall into a comfortable position. Ideally, “your vertebrae are stacked, your entire back moves as you breathe, and your pelvis is positioned so that your spine is stacked properly.” Experts call this your natural posture, and advise that maintaining it will take practice since we’re taught to sit with a straight back and tucked-in tailbone.
Find the perfect chair. Nothing will carry you through a day at work quite like a good chair. Your chair will support your back and posture alike, helping to keep you comfy throughout the day. Your seat is so important that entire articles have been dedicated to the perfect office chair. At the very least, a good chair offers lumbar support and sits at a height that allows your feet to touch the floor – although, depending on your height, you may need a footrest to support your legs and ensure you’re not sitting too low below your desk.
Lay out your keyboard and mouse. Your natural posture not only influences your chair needs – it helps to determine where your key work items go. In this case, “the keyboard and mouse should be positioned in a way that keeps your elbows to your sides, and your arms at or below a 90-degree angle. This way, the muscle load is reduced and you’re not straining.” You may need to adjust the height and tilt of your keyboard to reach this position, but it’s worth it. Once you’ve done that, make sure your keyboard and mouse are about shoulder-width apart.
Adjust your screen. Chances are that your eyes will be on a screen for most of your day, making its placement very important. If your screen is too far away or too close, you run the risk of overextending or craning your neck – not comfortable at all! To avoid this, set your screen an arm’s length away from you as you sit in your seat. And the screen should be eye-level – or just below eye level – and set in a space with a minimal amount of glare.
Stretch! No desk setup in the world can completely eliminate the downsides of sitting for work all day long. It’s important to stretch and move around every hour if possible, to help your body work out some of the effects an office job. Setting reminders and working these breaks into your day is just as important as any other tip on this list.
Wear the perfect glasses. Remember the effort you put into getting your screen just right? This tip is an extension of that step. Screens don’t just affect the way your neck and back feel – they put stress on your eyes as well. Computer, tablet and phone screens are all guilty of emitting blue light, which contributes to digital eyestrain. This means setting up your screen perfectly without proper computer eyewear for your vision will leave you wide open to the effects of eyestrain. Fortunately, these days there are glasses that can help decrease the painful effects of blue light exposure. The lenses we use at Phonetic Eyewear, for example, are made specifically to combat the effects and symptoms of digital eyestrain!
Want to learn more about what our glasses can do for you? You can explore the tech behind our own frames here, as well as start shopping for your computer eyewear frames here. Be sure to contact us today with any specific product questions, so that we can help you get into your best work mood yet!