If you’re experiencing back or neck pain, eye strain, wrist problems or other physical discomfort, the setup of your workstation may be to blame – and well-intentioned things you’ve tried may be contributing to the problem.
Here is a look at some of the most common mistakes people make with their workstations:
1. Ignoring ergonomics altogether
An improper workstation setup may require you to stretch muscles, such as those in your neck, abnormally for hours a day. Performing repeated motions or tasks in awkward positions can lead to injuries that may start small but develop into chronic problems. Work shouldn’t hurt.
2. Assuming products labeled 'ergonomic' are good for you
While a truly ergonomic desk, chair or other office item may indeed be beneficial to your bones and muscles, the term isn’t regulated. Studies have shown that some products actually may do more harm than good, so be sure to do your research and speak to a health care professional or other expert if needed.
3. Dismissing early warning signs of physical problems
If parts of your body are going numb or “falling asleep,” that could be a sign your workstation isn’t working well for you. When you feel numbness, get up and walk and contact a professional for advice on how to proceed.
4. Using nontraditional desks and chairs
While you may read rave reviews about medicine-ball chairs and treadmill desks, in some cases research doesn’t support the purported benefits.
A treadmill desk, for example, may be good at keeping you moving at work, but what are the implications for your posture?
5. Sitting still too long
Even the best-fitted desk may not prevent the problems that prolonged sitting can cause. Get up and move at least every hour. You can stretch, take a walk or do jumping jacks – whatever works best for you.