Thursday, January 10th, 2019 by Gina Thompson
You’ve heard of “economics”, but what about “ergonomics”? Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they fit the people who use them. Safe Work Australia estimates the cost of work-related injury and disease to be a whopping $61.8 billion per year, so it’s a vital practice that should be done at home as well as the workplace.
Chances are that you still spend a significant amount of time on a computer, whether it’s for completing errands like email correspondence or doing the weekly online grocery shop online, or for recreational reasons such as watching videos or playing games. However, if your workplace doesn’t involve daily work at a computer, chances are that you’ve never had anyone walk you through computer-related ergonomics to apply to your computer setup both at work and at home. Improper computer use can lead to eye strain, headaches and a whole slew of muscle and joint problems including the dreaded lower back pain, so that’s a problem that needs to be solved!
We’re here to help with an easy-peasy guide to get you sitting comfortably so you can skip the strain that can build up over time. Whether it’s at work or home, if you use a computer, this info is for you!
The all-important chair
When it comes to your PC setup, a good place to start is the position of your arms in relation to the surface of your desk. After all, almost every office chair on the market has an adjustable height, but most people don’t have an adjustable desk! Your chair plays a vital role in ergonomics, so it’s important to make sure it meets the following criteria:
Make sure you and your monitor see eye to eye
Good posture and neck position, as well as minimising any repetitive movements you have to do where your neck is involved, all play a big part in keeping you comfortable. That’s why it’s important to make sure your monitor (and other equipment) is positioned correctly according to how you use your PC:
Wellness comes from within
A great ergonomic setup is a good start, but it’s important to keep your general wellbeing in mind, too! Here are some good guidelines to get you started:
Shake up sedentary work
“Sedentary” means you’re spending a lot of time seated or inactive, which is particularly common among office workers and other professions which involve using computers for extended periods of time. It may surprise you to learn that sedentary work can be risky for your health even though there’s not much hustle and bustle.
So, how can you shake things up (literally)? Here’s some tips to help you quit the sit:
Take time to reassess when you’re on the move
Not everyone uses their computer in the same place every day, particularly if you have a portable device like a laptop. You may even be working in a modern office where you move between different desks on a daily basis (this is known as ‘hot-desking’) or you might just be moving about between different rooms in your own home. Whenever you’ve got your computer in a new spot, take a minute to get your setup in good order so you’re not feeling the pain later.
Visualise with this guide
To help you put all this information together and get a clear picture of how you should be setting up your computer desk, check out this handy diagram that’s packed with sound advice.