Did you know that when you run you take between 800 and 1,000 steps per mile? That’s why experienced runners are so particular about their form. If you have a problem with your step or landing, you’re not making that mistake once, you’re doing it thousands of times on a single run, which is how injuries develop.
Now, think about your work place. Pretty much the exact opposite of a six mile run, right? Think again. If you work 40 hours a week for a year and take about two weeks of vacation, you’re spending 2,000 hours a year at the office. So having a comfortable, ergonomic office is as important for your health as great shoes for a marathon runner.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a checklist for your office to ensure an ergonomic and stress free environment. Tweet us your suggestions, too. We’ll RT our favorites.
It’s important to have an adjustable chair for your desk. None of us are built the same, so a one-size-fits-all chair is not going to cut it. Adjust your chair so that your hips and knees are close to level. Your chair should have some type of curve along the back cushion, which should line up perfectly with your back. You also don’t have to keep the back of the chair perfectly upright in your “perfect posture” stance. If you feel comfortable leaning back, well, lean back.
If you have a laptop, it may be worth your time to get a laptop stand. These have many features, such as cooling your computer and allowing it to swivel, but one of the best features is that they take the pressure off your wrists. If you ever experience tingling or numbness in your hands or fingers, it’s definitely time to look into a computer stand or at the very least a gel pad the raise your hands. That tingly feeling could be early signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and shouldn’t be ignored.
You may have seen our recent blog about the popularity of a standing desk. We realize this may not be an option everyone wants to take, but if you’re working at a sitting desk or station, be sure your arms are nearly parallel to the ground and that your wrist are not resting on the edge of the desk when you work on the computer (again, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not fun). Keep in mind that sitting is harder on your back than standing, so try to keep moving about throughout the day.
Other Ergonomic Options
If you are concerned about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome due to your job, but don’t have a laptop to put onto a stand, there are other options. Do a little research on ergonomic keyboards and mice. These will give you the same support a laptop stand would and take the pressure off your wrist.
One of the best things you can do for your body is use it. Take the stairs, walk around your building, walk over to your coworkers desk instead of calling them. Find reasons to get up and move about. Changes in position are good for your body and will help keep you pain and stress free.