Most every person sitting at a desk feels like they’re not sitting properly at their desk, but most don’t do anything about it. However, if you don’t you risk causing permanent damage to your back. The changes you have to make aren’t that difficult though. Read on to find out how to save your back by making changes to the ergonomics of your workspace.
- Take breaks
- Position your keyboard and mouse properly
- Get a suitable chair
- Don’t sit all the time
Every every person sitting at a desk knows they should take breaks, but they often don’t as they’re too busy trying to hit deadline, or they’re too involved in what they’re doing. Emily Perkins, a writer with UK Writings, says that there’s an easy way to remember to take breaks. ‘Every hour, have an alarm set to go off and remind you to go stretch for five minutes’ she says. ‘Even a quick walk to the kitchen and back can be enough to save your spine!’
Position your keyboard and mouse properly
The ideal positioning for your keyboard means that your wrists and forearms should angle down towards the keys. To make sure you’re doing it correctly, the angle of your elbows should be greater than 90 degrees. You can buy specialist keyboards that do this for you, but you can achieve the same by adjusting the height of your desk or seat, as long as it doesn’t affect other aspects of your posture.
As for the mouse, make sure that it’s placed as close to the keyboard as possible. Try not to place it directly on the desk, but instead elevate it to the same level as the keyboard. Then, make sure you’re moving it with your elbow rather than your wrist, to avoid carpal tunnel issues.
Get a suitable chair
The chair at your kitchen table probably isn’t going to cut it. Try your chair now. You should be able to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your knees should bend at about 90 degrees. If your feet can’t reach the floor, a foot rest can solve the problem. Now, you need to make sure that you have lumbar, or lower back support. If your chair doesn’t include this, you can buy a pillow that solves this for relatively cheap. Finally, you need to ensure that you have a slight recline to your chair. 100 degrees is actually better than 90.
Don’t sit all the time
Constant sitting is bad for everybody. As a desk person though, it’s an occupational hazard. How do you get around it though? Finlay Jones, a uk dissertation writer, has a good tip: ‘My physical therapist recommended buying a sit stand desk, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought. I can adjust it for sitting and standing at the right heights for me, meaning I can switch between the two throughout the door. I’ve felt much better since I made this investment.’
If you just make a few adjustments to your work station, you’ll feel the difference in your back and body instantly. Save yourself the pain and stress, and invest in your work station. You won’t regret it.