7 Tips for Proper Ergonomics in the Modern "Office"
Office jobs -- jobs that have employees sitting in front of a computer -- are more common than ever. Even still, "offices" have never looked so different. Tech companies are particularly well-known for altering the office landscape with diverse workstations, nap/relaxation rooms and even amazing in-house chefs. Many people still go to work everyday in a traditional office setting; yet, more and more, people are taking remote jobs. This "office-anywhere" mentality allows employees to be much more transient and work all over the world; anywhere with a wifi connection. They work in their home offices, hotel rooms, cafes, restaurants, even out in nature. Whether in a traditional or home office, a bustling cafe, or even from your sofa, having proper ergonomics is essential to prevent back pain and strain no matter where you work.
- in all sitting postures the hands should ideally be level with your elbows, below the elbows is ok, but they should never be above
- as often as possible you should use a chair with arm rests which the arms should gently rest on
- if you are working with your computer in your lap, this should be limited to short periods of time
- pick a chair that has great lower back support
- the chair should have a gentle curve that supports the spinal curve
3. Legs and feet
- your feet should always rest flat on the floor
- if you can't reach the floor, use a foot rest or phone book
4. Frequent walks and breaks
- you should consistently be getting up and moving around at least every 30 minutes to improve focus and attention
- getting up to grab a drink water is a great to stay hydrated and keep your body from feeling stagnant.
- bonus points for stopping to do a set of plyometrics such as push-ups, squats etc.
- your desk should easily have clearance for your knees
- don't store items under your desk and keep the area clear and tidy
- the desk shouldn't be so high that the hands are above the elbows
6. Homework and remote offices
- set up a proper desk and work station in your home/hotel where you will work most of the time
- keep in mind the principals of good posture when you work out of the home (only some of the time)
- place often used items within reach to prevent straining
- keep your arms back and feet in mind and adjust your furniture using pillows, footrests, and other objects to adjust.
7. Standing desks
- a new desk that offers comfortable standing and better posture
- being on your feet promotes wakefulness, attention and improved metabolism
Dr. Shawn K. Exley, D. C.
Dr. Shawn K. Exley graduated with his Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree from the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon. He has always had a desire to help others and shortly after being introduced to chiropractic, he saw how beneficial it was in supporting his active lifestyle.