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How To Set Up An Ergonomically Workstation Properly:
Sitting for longer hours when working can actually cause serious health consequences especially when someone’s sitting-posture and workstation are poor. However, you can eliminate any consequences that come as result of sitting for longer hours by simply maintaining a healthy sitting-posture and setting up a proper workstation so as to achieve a more comfortable working environment. All in all, I have listed for you some the methods and tips on how to setup a correct workstation and if you actually try to follow these methods. You will greatly improve on your environment.
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METHOD 1: HOW TO SETUP YOUR DESK:
- Keep the monitor a distance: try to keep your monitor between 20 to 40 inches or 50 to 100 centimeter away from your face because this greatly helps to reduce eye-strain. In case the depth of your desk does not allow this, then move the monitor to corner or you may even request for a flat-screen monitor if possible. Likewise, you can even acquire an attachable computer-tray in order to create a deeper working surface.
- Adjust the monitor position: you should adjust the monitor so that its center sits at your eye level. This implies that the monitor should always be directly in-front of your face probably not more than 35-degress to either sides and at or slightly below the eye-level. But in case you wear bifocals and when you usually tilt the head back so as to look down through them at the monitor, then lower or raise your chair so that the monitor sits 15-20 degrees below the eye level. Additionally, this may even require you to tilt the screen slightly upwards towards the face. However, you should avoid the need to tilt your head back because this causes tension in the neck and shoulders. All in all, it’s best to consider getting a dedicated pair of glasses for computer usage or work.
- Adjust the brightness and contrast of the monitor: it is recommended to adjust the brightness and contrast of the monitor so that you can be able to see clearly without any unnecessary eye-strain. In case you need the text to be large for you to see, then learn how to adjust font and also learn how to zoom in and out on the computer-screen but without disturbing the screen resolution.
- Use a docking-station: try using a docking station to plug your laptop into the real monitor, keyboard and mouse. In fact, it is best to select and arrange these peripheral individually.
- Place the keyboard in a favorable position: you should place your keyboard in a position whereby your upper-arms can hang vertically. In fact, you should avoid extending your arms far forward and also avoid bending your elbows backwards while typing.
- Position the keyboard at the right height: you should make sure that to reach keyboard your forearms shouldn’t bend more than 20-degrees above the horizontal alignment while sitting or not more than 45-degrees below in case you’re standing. Use a keyboard tray attached to the desk because it can actually lower the keyboard and mouse so that they can be kept within reach. In fact, high-quality keyboard trays will allow you to adjust the position and angle of the computer devices.
- Position the mouse next to the keyboard: keep your mouse in a position that can enable you to switch between typing and using this mouse for less effect on the arms and wrist-posture. Likewise, choose a mouse which is of the right size with your hands like a portable mouse is good for smaller hands while a gaming mouse is good for larger hands. Additionally, try to adjust the speed of the cursor movement relative to your mouse movement until it feels right for use.
- Manage computer and device cables: in case you have cable attached on the keyboard, mouse or any other computer peripherals, then collect these cables to take them out of the way but don’t over pull them because you will end-up causing severe damages. Likewise, bundle-up monitor and other computer cables so that they don’t appear all over your work-desk.
- Arrange all items within sight and reach: try place all the items to be used with sight and reach. These items may include; your phone, writing equipment, books and any other frequently used items while using your computer. In fact, place these items within easy reach from where you are sitting without the need to stretch in order to get these objects.
- Acquire phone headsets: in case you spend a good amount of time on the phone, then it’s best to get headsets because they will leave your hands free for other tasks. These headsets will even help to prevent awkward neck-positioning like perching the phone between the shoulder and ear.
METHOD 2: HOW TO SETUP AND MAINTAIN A HEALTHY POSTURE:
- Adjust the chair height: try to slightly adjust the chair height so that your feet rest flat on to the floor. This will help to keep the knees and hips at approximately the same height which is healthy. Additionally, your forearms should be parallel to the ground while the wrists should be in a neutral position while sitting. On the other hand, since most work-desks have fixed height, it’s recommended to adjust the chair’s height to get the correct position of the arms and hands. Likewise, if necessary, provide support for your feet so that the under-side of the thighs is gently supported at the edge of your seat.
- Keep the wrist position neutral: try to keep your wrist position neutral by simply avoiding bending your wrist sharply up-wards or downwards while typing. To achieve this, consider using a split-design or tented-and raised keyboard but actually select one that matches with your hands. Additionally, use a wrist-rest to help the wrists float over the keyboard but only use a wrist-rest in case it elevates your wrists depending on your position. on top of that, many keyboards have tabs for raising the back section but its recommended to first check the wrist position before using these tabs and in case you feel like raising your keyboard at the front section and it has no adjustment for that, then prop-up the front using an object like a paint-stick, erasers or anything else that can lift the keyboard front well.
- Change your sitting posture regularly: regardless of how healthy your sitting-posture may be, sitting in one position for an extended period of time is not good. In fact, if you actually have an adjustable office-chair then try to alternate between the positions featured below:
- Sit-upright: this position will involve keeping your torso roughly vertical, the thighs will be horizontal and the lower legs in vertical position.
- Sit-reclined: the reclining sitting position involves tilting the backrest of the chairs back so that the torso reclines between 105 to 120 degrees from your thighs.
- Sit-declined: this involves tilting the seat-pan of your chair slightly so that the angle between the thighs and torso slightly greater than 90-degrees. But don’t over-do this because you will feel like you’re sliding forward.
- Check and adjust any other settings on the chair: try to ensure that other adjustments on the on the office-chair are correct for you as well. In fact, most ergonomic, office-chairs feature adjustments for armrests, seat-depth, seat-angle, recline and others.
- Try to alternatively stand: incase your work-desk is adjustable; you can raise it and then stand. Likewise, you can keep a footrest next to you and take turns by resting your legs on it. however, staying on your feet for the whole day while working is not healthy because it will make the feet sore and that is why the standing-position is recommended for a job that doesn’t require long periods at the desk.