You spend a great deal of time every day in your office (whether it’s a home office or not) so it’s important to make sure that your office is a healthy one. Don’t let your work environment create long-term health problems. Here are our five tops tips to improving your office ergonomics:
1 – Buy A Comfortable Chair
A comfortable chair is very the best investment you can make in your office. Choose a model that provides lower back support and has adjustable height and arms. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle while you are typing when you are sitting straight with both of your feet flat on the floor. Make sure that your chair sits at the proper height for you to access both your keyboard and mouse as well as to view your monitor.
2 – Use the 20/20/20 Break Pattern
It is important to take frequent breaks to relieve your eyes from strain. Continuously staring at your monitor can result in headaches, nausea and eye strain. To combat this, try using the 20-20-20 rule. It’s very simple to use: simply look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
3 – Watch Your Posture
Even with the right chair, it is only easy too easy to begin slouching. But poor posture can lead to health problems so paying attention to your posture throughout the day is important. Keep your weight balanced on your chair from front to back and side to side. Sit up straight and try to line up the ears, shoulders and hips in one vertical line. Watch out for common unbalanced postures that can cause issues such as leaning to one side, hunching forward or tilting the head.
4 – Stand Up
A sedentary lifestyle can be a huge health risk. Sedentary lifestyles are associated with rising obesity rates and conditions such as diabetes. Sitting at a desk all day isn’t healthy for anyone. Fortunately research shows that even small changes can help to make a difference. It’s a great idea to take the time to get up from your desk every hour. Take a short walk or stretch. Try standing during phone calls or meetings.
5 – Get Proper Lighting
Proper lighting can help to reduce eye strain. Eye strain is caused by excessively bright light from harsh interior lighting or bright exterior light. Reducing the overall level of lighting in your office may sound counter intuitive but it can help to reduce eyestrain. Try dimming the lights or, if that’s not possible, turn off fluorescent overhead lighting and use lamps instead. If you can’t replace the lighting in your office, you can still take steps to help your eye health. Reduce eyestrain caused by glare by angling your monitor away from nearby light sources. Choose full spectrum lighting wherever you are able to. Not only does it bring out the true natural colors of your environment but it can reduce eye fatigue, reduce stress levels, reduce glare and slow aging of the retina.
Creating a healthy work environment goes beyond basic well-being. It actually helps to reduce stress levels and lowers worker error and mental burnout. Take a critical look at your work environment and see how it can be improved.