These days, 75 percent of the workforce performs their jobs while seated, so it’s no surprise that the study of ergonomics in the workplace has been on the rise over the last few years. Being comfortable throughout the day has many benefits, such as enhanced well-being by reducing back and neck pain, as well as increased productivity by minimizing distractions.
There are many ways to make your workspace more comfortable. One of the simplest ways is to keep your most used items in your reach zone (the area you can touch with your arms at your sides and elbows bent). The primary reach zone should consist of your most used items – keyboard and mouse, for example. The secondary zone will be a little longer reach than the primary zone, and should include things that are used less throughout the day, such as your phone, folders, and binders. Keeping your most important items within arms’ reach will eliminate unnecessary straining that seems minor, but over time can lead to pain.
Properly adjusting your chair is another simple way to be more comfortable at your desk. The chairs we sit in all day affect the way our spine is positioned, as well as our pelvic position. With these in an unnatural position, it can cause pain throughout our neck, back, and legs. Luckily, manufacturers have been developing chairs to help with this discomfort.
A good chair will allow you to control a number of features to make the chair fit you specifically. Take a look at your chair and adjust the features that you can:
- Tension Control: Regulates the amount of resistance a user feels when leaning back in the chair. There should be some give, but you shouldn’t fly back too easily or be leaning back too far.
- Lumbar Support: When seated, your back tends to lose its “S” shape, which can cause your lower back to hurt. The lumbar support will help bring back the natural curvature to your back by placing it in the area where your back curves in. New, innovative chairs like Haworth’s Fern are built specifically to fit our S-shaped backs.
- Pelvis Support: This feature works in conjunction with the lumbar support to keep the pelvic bone from rotating back.
- Seat Height: Set your seat height correctly to keep the circulation in your legs regulated. To do this, place your feet flat on the ground – your thighs should be parallel to the floor with knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Seat Pan Depth: This should be set so that the seat does not touch the back of your knees or interfere with your ability to bend your knees to angles less than 90-degrees, providing the thighs with support.
- Forward Tilt: This feature angles the seat down to lessen pressure on the back and pelvis.
- Armrests: These can come with many different features, such as height adjustment, side to side, and back to front. Armrests should be positioned at a 90-degree angle with the shoulders in a neutral position.
With these simple adjustments, sitting and working at your desk all day will be more comfortable. Remember to get up and walk around a couple times an hour, and never stay in one posture too long – your body needs movement throughout the day. For more information about the importance of a good chair and proper adjustments, please reach out. We’d be happy to help you be more comfortable at your desk!
Images from www.haworth.com