Health and Safety – How to Be Seated Correctly

With the current emphasis on health and safety, a most important factor is sitting correctly and comfortably at your office desk. The correct sitting position will help you improve your physical well-being and improve your performance at work. An uneasy body can be gravely incapacitated long before you even realise there is a problem. Sitting in a comfortable but well supported position keeps the blood flowing and the mind functioning at it’s best.

Ergonomics is the science of designing the task in hand, the equipment, and workspace to suit the worker and is of specific interest when considering office workstations and office seating.

Whether you work from an office or work from home, much time is spent at your desk. The inappropriate position can wreak havoc on your entire body. Tension can build up in the back and the circulation to the legs may be reduced.

Points worth serious consideration are:

Eyestrain is a common problem for people who spend a lot of time behind a computer screen. The height of your monitor and distance from your seat will make a significant difference to your comfort and well-being. An adjustable monitor stand lets you raise and lower your monitor so it is at perfect eye level as well as move it forward or back easily to adjust for your position.

Neck pain is one of the most common complaints of office workers but rarely is it’s cause understood. Neck pain is not often caused by the neck position itself, but arm and wrist positions. Strain on the upper back and shoulders makes muscles in the neck bunch to compensate and develop knots and spasms. Ensure that your arms are held at a proper 45 degree angle and your wrists appropriately positioned. An ergonomic keyboard as well as a desk with an adjustable rather than stationary keyboard holder will make it easier to place yourself in the correct end position. Ergonomic keyboards help reduce arm and shoulder strain and ease the pressure on your neck muscles.

An Ergonomic Chair:

Does your chair have proper lumbar support? A good chair is well worth the extra cost you pay for it. Ensure that it has adjustable support for your lower back, fits your body and supports your shoulders as well. Keep your chair in proper working order. Tiny niggles can mean you must physically compensate for movements and hold the chair steady, putting further stress on your body.

Armrests are an important feature of your chair. In many office chair ranges, armrests may be added to armless chairs, and standard arms may be replaced with armrests as an option. Most office chair armrests are height adjustable, enabling you to place your arms in a comfortable working position for your daily tasks.

If your armrests are too high, this will raise the shoulders, causing tension in the shoulders and upper back muscles. Too low and they may cause a leaning posture which could impact your breathing, thus reducing the amount of oxygen being carried by the blood to the muscles

Armrests which are too far apart may cause the shoulders to over extend, causing upper back strain. Also, should they be too narrow, extra muscular effort will be required to keep your arms comfortably on them.

Armrests which are too close together can interfere with relaxed key strokes and restrict the ability to place your hands on your lap when you are not working. This should be done regularly, with palms facing down, to relax your body generally.

Wrist pain or Carpel Tunnel is the most common work related injury and it is avoidable. A comfortable keyboard station, an ergonomic mouse pad, that allows easy liquid movement and which is designed to move the wrist instead of holding it in a stationary position, are all easy to accomplish things that will relieve pressure on that sensitive tendon in your wrists

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