Do you sit at a desk most of the day?
If so, you’re not alone. In some professions, workers spend up to of 90 percent of their time sitting – often at desks, typing away on keyboards and looking at computer screens.
With so much time spent at a desk, it’s important to make sure yours is adjusted to your body. Too often, we adjust our bodies to accommodate our workstation rather than the other way around, as it should be.
The wrong kind of desk or setup – a computer screen that is too high or too low, for instance – can increase your risk for musculoskeletal disorders, poor posture, vision difficulties, carpal tunnel syndrome and more.
Choosing the right desk
How do you choose a desk? Standard desks from office-supply stores will fit most people, but you may need to buy items like an adjustable chair to sit at the desk properly. Adjust the chair so you can sit with your thighs parallel to the floor and your feet flat on the ground.
If your desk is too tall, you may need a footrest for your feet.
Monitors and keyboards
You may also need to consider how to configure your computer monitor and keyboard for the best posture.
Monitors should be set up at eye level so that you don’t need to look up or down to view the screen comfortably. If you use a laptop with a small screen, you may want to invest in a docking station and larger monitor to use for your display, which can help reduce eye strain.
When it comes to your keyboard, the key is to keep your wrists flat and supported. That may mean you need to bring your keyboard closer to your body than you currently have it. Also, if your keyboard is on top of your desk, it’s usually best to avoid using the tabs on the back, which can cause you to angle your wrists improperly.
Be wary of L-shaped desks because they can tempt you to place your monitor in the corner, which may not allow you close enough to the screen to sit with proper posture.
And, aside from your setup, you can help your body by taking “ergonomic breaks” throughout the day by getting up to move regularly.