Prevention is better than cure. A little knowledge can avert a big problem. Since most of us perform desk jobs, learning to adjust our office furniture would help us in maintaining a proper body posture.

Ergonomics is the science of designing the work equipment and workplace to fit your body. A good ergonomic design is the solution to prevent musculoskeletal injuries.

Repeated tasks performed when seated also contribute to stress to the neck, shoulders, hands, wrists and even the legs, especially when done slouching. Anyone who spends several hours seated on the job should follow a few rules:

  •  Adjust your chair in order to support your back. If you can’t adjust the chair, try using a small pillow or tightly rolled towel to relieve pressure on your lower back. Sit upright and push your hips back as far as they can go against the chair’s backrest.
  •  When sitting back, there should be at least a 1-inch gap between the edge of the seat and the backs of your knees, and the seat of the chair should be at least 1-inch wider than your hips and thighs. The chair’s back should be wide enough for your back.
  •  Sit evenly on your hips with your weight equally distributed between your thighs and buttocks. If you are sitting on your wallet, remove it.
  •  Your feet should rest flat on the floor else, use a footrest.
  •  To avoid bending your neck, adjust the top of your monitor to your eye level.
  •  Rest your elbows on your chair`s armrests. You should be able to rest them with your arms close by your sides. The armrests should be wide enough and of the right height.
  •  Swivel and roll to minimize joint strain. A swivel chair with a five-point base and wheels is a must for both stability and ease of movement.
  •  Try and control your mouse with the light grip.
  •  Rest your hands frequently, especially when your feel some tingling, numbness, pain or cramping.
  •  When using a keyboard/mouse, your hands should be even or slightly lower than your elbows. An adjustable keyboard tray mounted under the desktop may be necessary.

Remember to take frequent breaks and do stretching exercises to replenish blood flow which is restricted by continuous muscle use, especially your hands.  You could consult your doctor for more specific solutions.


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