For those who work at a desk, in front of a computer, or on an assembly line, an organized workstation can save you from unnecessary pain, stress, and injury to the body. A workstation is any area where you spend most of your occupation time using tools, and completing tasks with your hands. For office workers, it may mean using a keyboard, mouse, and a monitor. For carpenters, it may mean standing at a workbench using various tools. Whatever your workstation may look like, it is important that you maintain proper posture while you work, and that you do not have to strain or add stress to the body while performing your job.
The problems that can arise from incorrect posture while working long hours are numerous and have serious consequences. Musculoskeletal disorders, as well as other types of pain, soreness, and stiffness may arise. A properly organized workstation, that is ergonomically designed, is the key to correct posture and comfortability, and can prevent painful disorders that stem from poor posture.
If you spend most of the day sitting down in a chair, take the time to adjust the seat tilt, this will straighten your torso area and allow your arms to easily use items around you. Try keeping the knees bent at a comfortable angle, a little over a 90-degree angle. Do your feet reach the floor properly? A footstool/footrest may be needed to allow your feet to rest flat and comfortable on the ground. Adjust the lumbar by adding a support pad or small pillow behind your back to straighten your posture. Try adjusting the lumbar on your office chair if available. If you spend hours on the phone each day without a headset, try not to cradle the phone between your head and shoulder while using the phone. If you are trying to use a computer or perform other tasks while on the phone, a headset is a small investment that can pay off big time. It keeps you from positioning your body in weird ways while trying to talk on the phone and perform other tasks.
If you use a monitor or screen while working, it is best that the top of the monitor is eye-level and the bottom of the screen can be read without tilting the head down. The distance from the screen to your eyes should be adjusted so that all of the words/items on the screen are in focus. If you're using a keyboard, good posture is essential. You should find a natural and relaxed position, providing the opportunity for movement with your arms and hands while you type. The keyboard should not extend past a comfortable reach, and if it is too close, it may not support the arms and place added strain on the wrists. Using only one or two fingers to type causes a lot of pain in the wrists for keyboard users because it may overload the finger tendons. Those who are constantly looking from keyboard to screen to keyboard may experience strain in the neck muscles.
Try adjusting your workstation to fit your posture needs each day when you arrive to work. Taking a few minutes to get your workstation organized and to your liking makes the rest of the day less of a hassle and may ultimately save you from pain in the long run.
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