Ergonomics for Improved Health
By Donna Stark
Maybe you have seen the Facebook ads as you scroll through family pictures or perhaps you read an article or two while waiting to be seen for an appointment, but you still don't understand what all the ergonomic fuss is about. After all, you have been using the same desk and office chair for years, and it works just fine, right? But are you really sure about that? What about those days when your back or neck are screaming in pain or when that burning sensation you feel in your hand flares up after you've been typing all day? How do you explain that? Perhaps you can't, but it is time to connect the dots and realize that your workstation may be outdated and in need of a new design!
Understanding the "E" Word
Although there aren't any test tubes or explosions associated with it, there is a science to ergonomics. The basic principle of ergonomics centers on the design and arrangement of things people use so that they can work in an efficient and safe manner. It can make a huge difference in your place of work and with your overall health and wellness. But where do you start? Take a look at the following suggestions on how to set up your workspace.
- Place your computer monitor at eye level
- Make sure your eyes are in the middle of your screen so that you aren't straining your neck up or down to look at it
- Invest in a chair that offers plenty of lumbar support
- Place your keyboard where your hands would naturally rest
- Make sure the keyboard is directly between you and your monitor so that you are not turning your head to look at the screen
- Set your computer mouse where your hands would naturally fall when your arm is bent
Remembering the "P" Word Too
By making just a few small changes in your workstation, you may notice that your posture improves too, but it's not a guarantee that will happen. You still need to be very intentional about the way you hold and carry your body, so keep these tips in mind:
- Sit straight with your back against the chair
- Don't slouch
- Pull your shoulders back
- Keep both feet on the floor
- Keep your head and neck in a neutral position
- Distribute your body weight against both hips equally
Work Efficiently and Safely
Small actions can oftentimes have the biggest impact and that couldn't be truer for the recommendations listed above, so give your workstation that much-needed update and improve your overall wellness in the process. You may be surprised to see how much of a difference it makes, even if you weren't aware that a difference was in fact, needed!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Knightdale, N.C.