Four elements to help distress your body and mind at the office
Work can be a stressful place to be—especially if your workplace is uncomfortable or taking a toll on your physically and mental health. It’s a sad reality that oftentimes the physical environments we work in our toxic to our health. Aspects of our workplace, such as uncomfortable seating, poor lighting, rigid desks, poor back support, and repetitive stress from typing and sitting at a computer all day long can really take their toll on our bodies and minds.
Even home offices are often delegated to common areas of the home—like the dining room table or a cramped basement office that offers poor lighting and seating with little back, neck, and shoulder support.
The following four ergonomic office tips will help distress your body and mind at work
1. Buy an ergonomic office chair
Do what I did in my home office and buy an Eames chair or another type of desk chair that’s designed to support your back, neck, and shoulders when you sit for long periods of the day. If you’re a desk monkey like me (aka: you spend 8 hours or more a day, five days a week, seated in your office chair) it must be comfortable. Skimping out on an office chair can wreak havoc on your body—for instance, the repetitive stress and poor posture over the long term can cause back pain, nerve damage, poor circulation, muscle fatigue, and poor circulation to your legs and extremities. That’s why it’s imperative above all else to own a office chair that provides generous support and cushioning to the back, neck and shoulders as well as good lumbar support that promotes the natural curve and alignment of your back. Look for a chair that:
- Offers proper cushioning to support your lower back, neck and shoulders
- Provides a wide enough seat pan for your thighs
- Can adjust and allow your legs to bend at the knees bend at a 90-degree angle so your feet rest flat on the floor
2. Buy an ergonomic keyboard
Your keyboard directly impacts the placement of your hands, wrists and forearms, which, if uncomfortable and unsupported over the long term can leave you with sore wrists and even carpel tunnel syndrome. To prevent injury, buy a keyboard that’s easily adjustable so that your hands, wrists, and forearms sit in a natural position. You can even find keyboards with cushioning to support your wrists. You will know your wrists are properly aligned if:
- Your wrists lie flat on the keyboard
- Your fingers gently and naturally curve
- Your elbows bend 90-degress and sit flat at a comfortable, natural angle
3. Adjust the height of your computer
You might do this with an adjustable desk orcomputer monitor—or a bit of both—but the height of your computer screen can really place stress on your neck if it’s too high or too low. The top of your computer screen should meet you at eye level when you sit in your chair and maintain good posture.
4. Lighting should be natural—not harsh
Harsh, fluorescent lighting can create headaches, tension and anxiety for you without you even knowing it. And sitting under harsh, sterile, fluorescent lighting all day long can wreak your eyes and your productivity. So choose lighting that’s close to natural lighting and easy on the eyes, and use warm light from desk lamps to spot light darkly lit office areas.
About The Author
Gina Casillo is a staff writer for Serenity Living Stores, an online vendor of popular furniture. She enjoys writing about home décor – especially when it comes to the spaces she’s most intimate with.