Freeze! Now review your body. Is your computer screen at eyelevel? How is your posture?
Looking after your body and creating an ergonomic workspace is incredibly important. We enlisted the help of an ergonomic expert to give you some top tips.
1. Arrange your arms to be at a 90-degree angle on your desk.
Move your arms to a 90-degree angle, like a robot. Now, lower or raise your desk up or down to rest your hands on the desk at this angle. If you can’t move your desk, move your chair. Don’t worry about your feet or legs at this stage. We will come to that later.
Most of the time this means your keyboard is between 2-5 cm above your legs.
2. Centre the keyboard so the letter B aligns with the centre of your body.
If you are using a keyboard with an extended number pad it is likely you centre the keyboard with your body. This means you are typing on an angle or leaning slightly left. Align the keyboard using the alphabetic keys and align the letter B to your tummy button.
3. Position your monitor at arm’s length.
Extend your arm straight out in front of you. Your middle fingertip should touch your screen. This is the distance your monitor should be - too far away and you will start craning your neck.
If you have two monitors, set them up side by side with no gap. Centre your primary monitor and place the secondary monitor off-center. If you use both monitors equally, centre the gap with as little gap as possible. Now, extend your arm and pan in an arch. As you move your arm, your fingertips should almost always touch the monitors. This tip may not apply if you have long arms and are short sighted. Visual comfort should always take priority.
4. Align your monitor so your eyes are in line with the address bar of your internet browser.
To find the perfect monitor height open your internet browser to full screen. Now, close your eyes. When you open your eyes, they should look directly at the address bar. If they don’t, lower or raise your monitor using a book if you have too.
It is also helpful to tilt your monitor ever so slightly down to avoid reflections. Some individuals with visual concerns may need further guidance on this.
5. Rest your legs on the chair so they are slightly below your hips
When you sit down there should be a small gap between the edge of the chair and your knees and your thighs should be slightly below your hips. This helps relax the thigh muscles.
6. Give your feet a break.
When you sit down, your feet should be on the floor. If they don’t reach the floor you need to get a footrest. If you are standing an anti-fatigue mat offers good support.
7. Get moving!
The best way to look after your body when you work at a desk and are sitting for long periods of time is to get moving. Taking minibreaks and micropauses helps keep your blood flowing and eyes rested. Try moving at least 5 minutes every 45-60 minutes. Walking up and down the stairs is great way to get the blood going again.
Or, you could try alternating your work between sitting and standing with Varidesk!
Download a printable guide by Alsco First Aid with some extra tips on a healthy workstation. DOWNLOAD HERE
Varidesk is an ACC approved supplier. If you know of any family or friends suffering at their desk, we are here to help!