Tips on Ergonomic Workstations

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By Dr. Sender Deutsch
Ergonomic desk chair

ObusForme ergonomic seat and back supports help promote proper posture at your workstation.

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Office ergonomics is a very hot topic these days as individuals struggle with an increased incidence of repetitive strain injuries in the workplace. Workdays lost as a result of neck and low-back strain, postural strain, headaches, arm and hand numbness, and tingling can be prevented through a properly fitted workstation and frequent breaks.

Monitor:

  • Centre your monitor directly in front of you.
  • Sit approximately an arm length away from your monitor.
  • Position the top of the screen with eye level.
  • Decrease the brightness to an acceptable level to you to prevent eye strain.
  • Use an attachment to your monitor or stand to hold papers you are looking at so that they are not forcing your neck to be in awkward positions while typing.

Keyboard

  • Have your keyboard at level that is slightly above your lap.
  • Use a wrist support to protect your wrists from being hyperextended.
  • Make sure you are above your keyboard to prevent shoulder hiking and to allow your arms to keep an open angle.
  • Tilt your keyboard away from you – “negative tilt” – for better posture.

Mouse

  • Keep your mouse close to your keyboard to prevent you from reaching it.
  • Have your wrist supported and in a neutral position to avoid hyperextension and hot spots.
  • Keep your arms close to your side so that you are not leaning to one side.
  • Take frequent breaks every few minutes from “mousing” to prevent wrist injuries.

Chair

  • Use a lumbar support, such as an ObusForme Lowback or a supporting roll, to ensure there is no gap between you low back / lumbar spine and the chair.
  • You should be able to sit firmly with both feet planted on the floor.
  • There should be no pressure points on the back of your legs.
  • The chair should be adjustable so that you can change positions.
  • Ergonomic seats should be used to help align pelvis.

Preventing Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs)

  • Take frequent breaks: stand up or stretch while on the phone, go and get a glass of water, or find some other excuse to walk around for a few minutes.
  • The ideal posture is a variable posture, which means changing positions and postures frequently.
  • Use a timer to remind you to stretch or move around – set it to go off every 20 minutes to ensure you are getting up and moving around.
  • Take microbreaks: stand up and stretch, reach for the sky every 20 minutes, and look away from your computer to give your eyes a break.

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