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4 Tips for a More Ergonomic Office

WITH CADENCE CHIROPRACTIC

Article by David Scheller

Photography by Cadence Chiropractic

We don’t know about the average resident of Eden Prairie, MN, but the average American spends about 6-1/2 hours a day sitting.

If you work at a desk, that probably doesn’t sound like much. Unfortunately, that also means you’re at higher risk of an office injury. Back pain, repetitive strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other repetitive stress injuries all afflict office workers more frequently than average!

We aren’t going to recommend quitting your desk job, unless it’s to follow your dreams. (Even then, we would like to hear your dreams prior to endorsing your life-altering decision.) We’re just going to tell you a few ways you can use to make your office more ergonomic.

What is an ergonomic office, exactly? It is one designed for efficiency and comfort, with furniture that minimizes stress on your joints. You can do your neck, wrists and lower back a lot of good in the long run if you just follow these tips!

1. Choose an Ergonomic Desk Height

If it’s too high or too low, your desk will force you to adopt an awkward posture. You’ll take longer to complete your work in this posture. You’ll also place needless wear and tear on your spine.

The best desk height keeps your feet flat against the floor, your elbows bent at right angles, and your arms placed at right angles to your sides. The ideal desk height for your body is largely determined by your own height. Use the following scale for reference, keeping in mind that our species is blessed with an infinite range of body proportions.

  • 5'0" - 22.5"
  • 5'1" - 23"
  • 5'2"- 23"
  • 5'3" - 23.5"
  • 5'4" - 24"
  • 5'5" - 24.5"
  • 5'6" - 25"
  • 5'7" - 25"
  • 5'8" - 25.5"
  • 5'9" - 26"
  • 5'10" - 26.5"
  • 5'11" - 27"
  • 6'0" - 27"
  • 6'1" - 27.5"
  • 6'2" - 28"
  • 6'3" - 28.5"
  • 6'4" - 28.5"
  • 6'5" - 29"
  • 6'6" - 29"
  • 6'7" - 29.5"
  • 6'8" - 30"

2. Choose an Ergonomic Chair

If your current office chair feels uncomfortable, then your body is trying to tell you something. You need a seat that will carry your weight evenly, as well as minimize pressure on your spine by conforming to its S-shaped curvature.

An ergonomic chair provides support, healthily positions your joints, and aligns your hips and shoulders. Its adjustable armrests support your relaxed forearms. Its adjustable height keeps your feet placed on the floor. 

An ergonomic chair won’t just help you work comfortably while decreasing your chance of injury. It will also help you stay focused on your work and be more productive, so you can free up more of your workday for watching cute puppy videos on YouTube.

3. Choose an Ergonomic Monitor Height

With the right desk and chair, you’re almost there. You just need to place your monitor at the right height: the top of the screen should be level with your eyes, so you stare downward while gazing at the screen’s center.

If you wish to avoid eye strain while you’re at it, position your monitor 20" to 40" away from your eyes, tilt it about 15° back (or 40° if you wear bifocals), and set its brightness to around 50% (with exceptions if your office is very bright or dim).

4. Use an Ergonomic Mouse and Keyboard 

Ergonomic keyboards and mouses (mice?) are designed for the human body first and for computing second. Split, angled and contoured keyboards are all available. If one feels comfortable to you, then it may also reduce your risk of carpal tunnel. 

Even if you don’t spring for a top-of-the-line ergonomic mouse, you can still select one that requires as little finger movement as possible. A mouse that is large enough to grip comfortably will also reduce strain on your tendons and ligaments.

An ergonomic office can help you stay healthier, but it can’t keep you perfectly safe against workplace injuries. If your back feels sore and your joints feel stiff – or you have already sustained an injury at your workplace, whichever type of workplace it might be – then we welcome you to Cadence Chiropractic in Eden Prairie. 

Call (952) 855-7656 today to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Amanda Haeg!

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