‘Tis the season to be…healthy? The holidays are officially nigh which means goodbye warmth, hello seasonal aches and pains. This is the best time to think about how you can make your workplace improve your physical health, not make it worse. Nothing says low productivity like fatigued workers. In a nutshell, you need office ergonomics. 

With deskjobs, it’s not uncommon for you and your staff to be experiencing all kinds of pain without any real physical exertion. In fact, it’s the prolonged awkward positions, repetitive movements, and overuse that causes this physical stress. Slouching at a desk for long hours, for example, drastically affects your posture, elbows, wrists, and shoulders. So sort out the workstation (and consequently, your posture) with these super simple tips, and you can save yourself and your employees a lot of pain. Consequently, you’ll have discovered an inexpensive way to create a happy, successful team.

  1. Fix the position of your chair 
    Your chair should let your feet rest comfortably on the floor with your knees about the same level as your hips. Make sure the seat doesn’t press against the back of your knees.
  2. Support your back 
    You don’t necessarily need to buy or research the many posture gadgets entering the market. The free, old-school method of intentionally keeping your backbone straight, abdomen tucked in, and shoulders back, is just as effective. If the backrest of your chair doesn’t give you enough support, pop a cushion between it and the curve of your back – your spine will thank you for it.
  3. Adjust your monitors and screens
    Keep your monitor 18 to 30 inches away, ideally just out of arm’s reach. The top of the screen should be at eye level or below so you look slightly down at your work. With modern tech, it’s possible to reduce the blue light and brightness from your screen so your eyes don’t feel the strain from looking at it for too long. Every half an hour or so, look away from the screen – even your eyes need a break. This will help prevent migraines and headaches, and even help you sleep better.
  4. Swap Landlines or Cell Phones for Headsets
    If you frequently talk on the phone and simultaneously type or write, upgrade to headsets so you don’t have to strain your elbows and shoulders. You have the option of “Call Center” standard headsets or bluetooth-enabled devices – whichever fits your budget. 
  5. Rest your wrist
    Keyboards are a major wrist-stressor. Make sure your wrists are level with your elbows. Keyboard trays and chairs with armrests can easily help you achieve this. If you use a standing desk, balance your keyboard on a stack of books or adjust the tabletop until it reaches the right height for you. 

Sitting at a desk all day, even with good posture and ergonomics, can be pretty stressful on your body. On average, the human body can tolerate staying in one position for about 20 minutes before needing readjustment. So listen to your wearable tech and take a one-minute break away from your desk every few minutes. 
To know more about ergonomics and how it can benefit you and your team in terms of increased productivity, reduced fatigue, and a happier work environment, visit HR Learn for Work.