Sedentary work could be making you ill. Research has shown us that sitting for long periods of time can cause aches and pains that suggest your body is storing up trouble for the future.
Work-related health issues like carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injuries and chronic back pain are on the rise as more and more people move to sedentary office work. Fortunately, there’s also a large body of research into ergonomics that can help.
Ergonomics is the study of how we interact with our immediate environment and is most commonly applied to the design of office furniture like desks and chairs. We look at five ways in which ergonomics could improve your working conditions – and prevent years of injury and pain.
5 ways to reduce pain at work
1. Support your arms
The weight of your arms should be supported throughout your working day. If they aren’t, you run the risk of shoulder and neck pain as they take the strain. Sit at a level that allow your arms to comfortably rest just over your keyboard and consider using a wrist-rest that’s padded. You can also use the arms of your chair for support.
2. Stop slouching
Slouching is one of the top causes of back pain in office workers. Over the course of the day, the position of your back can ‘soften’, causing you to slouch and lean over your desk. Use a chair that has effective lumbar (small of the back) support and ensure that you are sitting close enough to the desk to comfortably reach your keyboard but not close enough to prop yourself up on your elbow.
3. Keep your monitor at eye level
Neck strain is another common problem and is often caused by craning the neck up or down to see the monitor properly. Remove the risk by ensuring that your monitor is at a comfortable eye height, using a monitor riser if necessary. If you use multiple monitors, ensure that the primary one is at eye level directly in front of you and only use the second one for occasional glances.
4. Don’t stretch to reach items
The layout of your desk can go a long way to reducing aches and pains. Make sure that all of your daily items are close at hand so that you aren’t constantly reaching and stretching to get to them. Keep lesser-used items stored away but close in drawer pedestals and reduce clutter by locking away the items you use least in cupboards.
5. Don’t dangle your feet
When seated at your desk, with the chair at the proper height so that your arms are bent at a 90° angle, your feet should be flat on the floor with your legs bent 90° at the knee. Raise your chair if it’s too low. If it’s too high and your feet dangle, you’ll experience pressure on the backs of your legs – use a footrest to prop up your feet and have your legs in the right position.
Footrests can help to alleviate aches and pains
Footrests can alleviate pressure on your legs and the small of your back. Consider shelling out on one to improve your working health. We have a fantastic range of footrests to suit any budget.
From basic, great-value footrests to massaging rests in stylish wood finishes, we have something to suit any worker and work environment. Browse our full range here and if you need some help in choosing the perfect one, our sales team is always on hand to offer friendly advice.