Easy steps to reduce discomfort in the office
Most of us spend about 40 hours a week in an office chair. That’s more than the time we spend eating, reading, watching TV, or working out.
So it’s not unreasonable to expect your office to be comfortable.
Certain factors, like the size of your workspace or whether you can see a window, may be out of your control. But there are several simple steps everyone can take to reduce any physical discomfort caused by their office set-up.
1. Create an ergonomic space
Ergonomics is key. Your chair, desk, and keyboard all need to be positioned so you are comfortable and well-supported, no matter how long you sit.
When in your chair, your feet should be flat on the floor, and your knees and hips should be at 90⁰ angles. The arms of your chair should be at a height that keeps your elbows open at an angle of 90⁰ or greater. The lumbar support in your chair should be positioned on your lower back. Your keyboard should be at the same height as your arms, so you are not reaching up to use it.
2. Practice good eyegonomics
Harsh lighting, unadjusted screen brightness, and bad “eyegonomics” can all cause eye strain. And nothing makes your workday more unbearable than that throbbing behind your eyes.
“Eyegonomics” refers to the art of applying ergonomic principles to your eyes. Your eyes should be level with the top of your computer screen, and they should be an arm’s length away from the screens.
Adjust the brightness of your screen to a point where the light is neither burning your eyes by being too bright, nor causing you to strain your eyes by being too dark.
3. Use your muscles
Frequent prolonged sitting is associated with a whole host of illnesses. Many of these are caused by the lack of movement. Staying in the same position for a long period of time allows your circulation to slow, which in turn causes your muscles and your brain to receive less oxygen. This, of course, leads to muscle denigration and a “foggy” head. If you find yourself feeling more and more worn down as the day progresses, the problem may be that you’re not spending enough time in motion.
Ideally, you should get up and stretch or move around for several minutes every hour. Another practical solution is an office chair that facilitates motion. Chairs with adjustable tilt tension and easily adjustable armrests make it easy for you to stay in motion all day. Your circulation, spine, concentration, and comfort will reap the rewards.
4. Use a footrest
It may sound silly, but elevating your feet even a few inches under your desk can help keep you comfortable all day. By raising your feet, you are forced to sit back in your chair. This ensures that you will feel the full effects of your chair’s lumbar support. It also improves circulation in your legs and can help keep your feet in motion.