In recent years there has been a change towards office work cultures by allowing more flexibility with job roles and encouragement of more user friendly workplace environments. Research out there suggests that office workers are spending more time sitting in sedentary roles compared to 20 to 30 years ago, and they are now saying that “sitting is the new smoking”.
Living such a sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous to your health. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you have a higher chance of being overweight, developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease, and experiencing depression and anxiety. Simply what we are trying to say is, the less sitting or lying down you do during the day, the better your chances for living a healthy life.
Dr Jack McElligott, believes in order to decrease your risks of these potential health hazards and back pain within the workplace it is of utmost importance that your desk ergonomics is properly assessed or atleast modified in a way. “People don’t always have time for this, but remember that there is no one universal template to suit everybody and that is why it is crucial that is set up tailored to suit an individuals body and it’s needs”.
See below for our Osteopath tips on how to get started on improving your ergonomic set up.
1: The chair
– When sitting in the chair your knees should be two finger widths away from the edge of the seat pan. Your knees should also be at approximately 90 degrees
– Ensure that your seat has a full back with a built in back support and adjustable height and arms
– For increase stability five wheel castors are recommended
– When seated your back should be pressed right up to the back support and feet should be able to touch the ground
2: The desk
– There are a number of options when it comes to a desk; the shape, split levels, fixed height or adjustable sit to stand. Regardless of what you have the desk height should be parallel with your arms (or slightly lower) when you are either sitting or standing.
– Desk accessories such as telephone, document holders and wrist supports should be within easy reach areas 25-50cm from the edge of your desk
– If changing from a fixed height desk to a sit to stand option, it is best to start with small amounts of time standing and build your tolerance throughout the day/week.
3: The footrest
– As mentioned above , when seated your back should be pressed right up to the back support and feet should be able to touch the ground. If this is not the case you will require a footrest to prop on
4: The monitor
– Should be at eye level in front of you. This applies for those using dual monitors too, with the exception of the monitors varying a split between 50/50 to 80/20. Simply what ever monitor you use the most, then this monitor should be more within your direct line of sight.
– The monitor can be tilted to a slight angle
– The monitor should be approximately 20-30″ away from your face
– If this is a problem for you, then you will require a monitor holder
5: The keyboard and mouse
– Your keyboard should sit approximately 10-26cm from the edge of your desk and mouse adjacent to this.
– Your wrist should be in neutral position when using the mouse
– Support pads can be used for both your keyboard and mouse
Osteopath – Dr Tatum Barton says “In conjunction with a proper desk set up, it is also crucial to promote and encourage movement within the workplace”. Being sedentary for the whole work day at the office is basically bad for your health. Regardless if your are morbidly obese or an active gym junkie, research out there suggests breaking up that sitting time is what’s important. So now that you have improved on your ergonomic set up, it’s time to get up and move!
Hopefully these tips will get you better set up and work environment within the work place. For more information or to chat with one of our Osteopaths give us a call on 03 9704 7244.