Ergonomic Workstations for a Healthy Back
May 19, 2016
Ergonomic Workstations Provide Comfort While Promoting Back Health
Taking care of your body is essential for health and wellness, and when you feel good, you’re always going to be more productive. While labor jobs can be hard on your spine and body, sitting all day is really a stress to your lower back and neck. Chiropractors attribute a lot of back dysfunction to prolonged sitting, poor posture, and poorly-equipped workstations. Sore necks, headaches and backaches are just a few of the symptoms that may present when confined to a desk day after day. Posture, exercise and ergonomic workstations and equipment are essential components to back health.
While periodic massages are great therapy and help de-stress you after a week’s work, there are lots of things you can do for yourself to help keep your back in shape and your body feeling good. Of course, if you have chronic problems, you’ll want to consult a professional, but exercising every day, even if only walking 20 minutes helps decompress your spine, as well as providing cardiovascular benefits.
Taking short breaks and moving around during your work day is ideal. Periodic stretching and brief walks get your blood flowing and are good for circulation and your muscles, joints and mental well being. Of course, if you can schedule longer walks into your work day, that’s a good way to break up the day and potentially boost your metabolism.
Making ergonomic changes to your workstation, whether you commute or work out of a home office, can greatly benefit your posture. Ergonomic workstations require optimal computer height, desk height, chair height and keyboard heights – all tailored to fit your body. The top of your computer screen should be about 2-3 inches below eye level for optimal viewing. If it’s too low, the neck and shoulders tend to automatically bend forward to adjust your viewing height. Setting a monitor directly on a desk is probably the most common mistake in computer station setup. A desk monitor stand helps boost the height of your monitor. This inexpensive Monitor Stand adds 4 inches in height to your monitor, accommodates monitors up to 24-inches and, combined with an adjustable-height chair, forms a fairly ergonomic workstation.
The Mid-back Task Chair has a gas lift for easy lever operation and a generous travel range from 17.5 to 23 inches, which accommodates most desk heights. Comfortable arm rests and a sleek contemporary design make this a handsome and functional choice for a home or work office. The chair has superior lumbar support, a comfortable, faux-suede upholstery and comes in a variety of colors from neutral gray to festive Wasabi green for the more adventurous types.
An Adjustable Standup Desk gives you maximum control over your work height and enables working while standing up, which many find preferable to sitting. A front hand crank makes it a breeze to adjust and the smooth glass top is easy to keep clean. The keyboard tray slides out for convenient access and pushes in when you don’t need it. A similar model with a composite top is also available.
Many people have headaches or feel nagging pain and discomfort without really questioning the source. While lots of factors can contribute to head and back pain, if you pay close attention to your surroundings and assess the ergonomics of your workstation and make appropriate adjustments, you may feel some immediate benefits.
by Laurie Halbritter