Poor ergonomics can lead to negative health effects.
After a few months of clacking away at a kitchen counter, dining room table, sofa, bed, or at a DIY stand up desk made from an ironing board, millions of people working from home are now realizing that their cobbled together workstations aren’t working from an ergonomics standpoint. Chiropractors are simultaneously reporting a huge surge in back problems, neck pain, and other issues. If a high-quality ergonomic office chair isn’t part of your current workstation, it could become an ergonomic time bomb.
You don’t want to wreck your body by sitting all day on the wrong chair. If possible, invest in ergonomically sound office furniture. Make sure you have the right setup for spinal health.
At first you may feel some tingling in your wrists or nagging lower back pain. Most overuse injuries start out as only mild discomfort. But repetitive trauma by sitting in a bad chair all day will cause those pains to gradually sharpen and those little annoyances to become an aching back, shoulders, wrists, and forearms that make it extremely difficult to work.
Companies that look to the future will offer ergonomic home office evaluations and adequate allowances for their employees working from home to buy the proper furniture they need to stay healthy. In fact, ergonomic investments yield as much as a 10-to-1 return on investment. When employees work safely and comfortably, they’re less likely to miss work because of injuries and are also more motivated and productive.
In the United States alone, $1 billion a week is spent to deal with entirely preventable injuries, many of which are caused by incorrect body positions. Research suggests that you can also prevent and even reverse the damage by setting up an ergonomic work environment. The good news is that making a few small adjustments will make a big difference.
At its most basic, ergonomics means fitting a job to a person, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Having an ergonomic desk and chair can help lessen muscle fatigue, increase productivity, and reduce the number and severity of work-related musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, muscle strains, and lower back injuries. Here’s how to set up a workstation that preserves your back health.
What You Need For A Healthy Workstation
An Ergonomic Chair
To get there, you want a desk and a chair that can be adjusted to your body size and shape—basically, the more adjustability, the better. The most important element of a healthy workstation is a good desk chair for ergonomic support. The key is to choose a chair with adjustability features designed to help a wide range of people personalize their sitting experience.
The Right WFH Posture
A healthy workstation is also one that allows you to work in a neutral, relaxed position, and puts the least amount of strain on your body. No matter where you’re working from home—be it in a dedicated home office space or at the kitchen counter—here’s how to take care of your posture to help reduce your risk of developing pain:
- You should be sitting all the way back in your chair, otherwise you risk throwing your posture and the muscles involved in it out of whack which can lead to musculoskeletal injuries.
- Your elbows should also be bent at 90-degrees and close to your body—not pressing against your ribs, but hanging comfortably below your shoulders.
- Your shoulders should be relaxed and back. This will happen naturally if your elbows stay at 90-degrees and your monitor is correctly placed.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor with your thighs parallel and your knees bent to 90-degrees.
If you start feeling pain at your desk or while working and don’t know what to do, the experts at ErgoDirect are available for a complimentary evaluation of your workstation. We invite you to fill out the chair finder, monitor arm finder and desk finder form on ErgoDirect.com so that we can recommend ergonomic solutions that best fit your body type and the ways you prefer to work.