In 2013, the World Health Organization released a study declaring that sitting for more than three hours is bad for your health. So while it may seem harmless to plop down in your seat after a long day’s work, it’s actually worse than you might think. Here are 8 ergonomic tips that can help make sure you come home worn out, but not worn-down.
1) Adjust the height of your chair
Studies have shown that just raising the height of your chair by 5 cm (2 inches) will greatly improve your quality of sleep. For better posture, you might want to keep one foot on a small footrest.
2) Keep your workspace clear and clutter-free
Don’t let those piles of papers get out of control because it’s an easy way to hold yourself back from actually getting work done. You should also choose the right office chair in the first place. A comfortable chair is more likely to keep you alert and focused on projects that need to be finished.
3) Make sure your computer monitor is at eye level
This will also help you avoid neck or back pain in general. A monitor that’s too high can put strain on your neck, forcing it to flex unnaturally.
4) Choose your chair wisely
While you’re thinking of getting a new ergonomic office chair, make sure you choose one that suits your body type. For example, tall people would want a taller chair — but don’t go overboard with the extra height. If you’re short, you might want to consider a high-back chair for added comfort. Chairs with armrests should be stable and padded since leaning against them can be stressful on the shoulders and wrists.
5) Exercise regularly
Walking around your office will help keep you fit. Just make sure to take frequent breaks and use the bathroom often. This is especially helpful if you’re spending a lot of time at your desk.
6) Get a sit stand desk
One way to avoid the dreaded “sitting disease,” is to switch up your daily routine. With a standing desk, you can work at your computer (or use it for other tasks such as homework) while also stretching, walking or bending from time to time. This is especially beneficial if you spend most of your day on the computer.
7) Keep your ears uncovered
While it’s tempting to wear earmuffs when the temperature drops, you should remember that they don’t let heat escape. This can lead to heat exhaustion in the long run.
8) Invest in a quality chair mat
Chair mats are important because they prevent the constant friction that occurs between your shoes and carpet. This can reduce the strain on your body since there will be less pressure on your shoulders and knees; this is especially important for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.
9) Go Up!
A study conducted by the University of Essex found that people who used taller stools while they worked experienced fewer aches and pains. The same can be said for using raised computer desks, too. A raised desk puts your body in a more natural position, making it much easier to stand up straight and remain alert throughout the day.
The many ways to improve your posture at the office will help you be more productive while also contributing to a healthier lifestyle. To make an even greater impact, try changing up your routine by tailoring it around what works best for you. Rather than sitting down in your chair, stand up and take frequent breaks by going outside or sitting in a different position on your chair altogether.
Moreover, you should try implementing the tips above to find a better balance between your work and health. If you do this, by the end of the day you might find yourself going home with a satisfied smile. This is because you’ll be sure to come home worn out, but not worn-down.