Technology has changed a lot of things about the modern workplace, but one thing that remains consistent is how much time many of us spend sitting at a desk. Today’s multi-functional workspaces allow for an amazing amount of productivity, but there are downsides that could pose serious risks to not only your work output but also your health. In order to stave off potential health risks that come with sitting all day, it is a good idea to look into the ergonomics of your desk and determine whether any improvements can be made.
Here are five ways you can make your desk more ergonomic:
1. Don’t use the keyboard feet
Many keyboards have feet at the top which can be used to move the top of the keyboard up. The reason for this isn’t actually for improved ergonomics, but to make the keys easier to see. If you type with two-fingers, this is effective, but if you are a touch typist, keeping the feet deployed could actually cause strain on your wrists. It’s best to keep the feet folded, and your keyboard as flat as possible.
2. Focus on the location of the B key
In order to reduce muscle, wrist and elbow strain, it’s important that you position your keyboard and mouse correctly. While you are sitting at your desk, you should make an effort to line up the B key with the center of the desk, or directly in front of you if you don’t sit at the center of your desk.
What this does is ensure that your wrists rest in a more natural, and comfortable position. You should also keep your mouse on the same level as the keyboard, and in close proximity. Basically you should move horizontally, not vertically.
3. Adjust the height of your seat and monitors
The height of your seat is vital as the ideal seat height will allow you to sit with your feet flat on the floor, and your arms are at the same height as the desk, or where your keyboard and mouse are.
While you are at it, you should also adjust the height of your monitor. While seated at your desk, you should be looking at the upper 2-3 inches of your monitor. If you find yourself looking at the bottom of the screen, it is a good idea to try and lower your monitor a little, or practice a better posture.
4. Practice good posture
When spending long hours at a desk, it can be tempting to slouch into your chair. While it definitely feels comfortable, it’s not the best for our bodies. The optimal posture is one where your feet are flat on the floor with your heels slightly in front of your kneecaps, back straight, with elbows close to your body and arms at the same height as the desk.
While sitting at your desk, strive to maintain this posture, but relax your back and neck muscles. If these muscles are tense, you are putting pressure on a variety of nerves which could cause more problems. For example, the ulnar nerve, which is the main nerve of the arm, runs up through the neck. Having a tense neck could put strain on this and lead to increased chances of a repetitive stress injury.
5. Keep important things within reach
If you find yourself always reaching for something that is just out of your grasp, you could be putting undue strain on your body. Instead, take a step back and think about what you use the most, then move these items within reach.
A more ergonomically planned desk likely won’t make you massively more productive, but it will help ensure your productivity in the long run by minimizing the risk of injury. If you are looking into improving your workspace, contact us today to see how we can help.