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Sitting for long periods can have serious health consequences, especially if one's posture and workstation are poor. To maintain a healthy posture and work more comfortably, here are tips on how to set up your workspace.
1.Keep your wrist position neutral. Avoid bending your wrist sharply upwards or downwards to type.
- Consider split-design or tented-and-raised keyboard; otherwise, simply try to select one which is the right size for your hands.
-To help your wrists “float” over the keyboard, use a wrist rest; however, only use it if it actually elevates your wrists; depending on your position, this might actually encourage you to hold your hands at a bad angle.
-Many keyboards have tabs to raise the back, but check your wrist position before you use them. You may need to raise the front, instead. If your keyboard has no such adjustment, try propping up the front on a paint stick, a couple of erasers, or other such object.
2.Adjust chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor.
This will keep your knees and hips at roughly the same height. To find this height, stand by the chair and raise or lower the seat pan to just below your elbows bent between 90 and 110 degrees. Take care that your elbows are not winged out, but instead hang with your upper arms at a comfortable, fairly vertical alignment. Your forearms should be parallel to the ground and your wrists in a neutral position. Since most desks are fixed height, it is best to adjust the chair height for the correct position of the arms and hands. Then, if necessary, provide support for the feet so that the underside of the thighs are just supported at the edge of the seat.
- Some desks do adjust in height, so look to see if there is such an adjustment. Much modular office furniture (i.e. cubicles) allows for adjustment of work surface height, as well, although making this adjustment may require some work. Ask your employer or facilities department to help you adjust such a desk.
3. Change your posture regularly.
Regardless of how healthy your work posture is, sitting in any one position for an extended period is not healthy. If you have an adjustable chair, alternate between the following positions, all of which will keep your pose neutral and relaxed:
- Sit upright. Keep your torso roughly vertical, your thighs horizontal, and your lower legs vertical.
-Sit reclined. Tilt the backrest of your chair back so that your torso reclines between 105 and 120 degrees from your thighs.
- Sit declined. Tilt the seat pan of your chair slightly so that the angle between your thighs and torso is slightly more than 90 degrees. Don’t overdo this or you will feel like you’re sliding.
If your desk is adjustable (or you can get another work station), stand. You can keep a footrest nearby and take turns resting your legs on it. Note that staying on your feet all day, while healthy, can make them sore; this position might be best for a job that doesn’t require long periods at the desk (or can accommodate a small, secondary standing workspace).
5.Make sure the other adjustments on your chair are correct for you, as well.
Most ergonomic office chairs have adjustments for arm rests, seat depth, spring stiffness of any reclining feature, seat angle, and more.