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How To Set Up Your Desk Correctly

If you are one of the millions of people who work in an office or you are looking to set up an office at home then making sure your desk and work space is set up correctly is vitally important for your health.

Find out how to set up your office space. Back ache, pains in the neck and constant headaches are some of the biggest health problems faced by office workers and the increase need to use a computer for work, learning the correct posture, desk arrangement and making sure you are comfortable whilst being sat at a desk will greatly reduce the chances of recurrent back aches and bad posture.

Arranging your desk

The Chair: The first thing to consider when working from a desk is having the right chair and knowing the right way of sitting on it. Trying not to carry on with bad sitting habits can be difficult, but for a good posture, you should be sitting right back in your chair not perched off the front.

Have your chair pulled right in so that your fingers comfortably reach the keyboard and so that your back and shoulders are straight and supported by the back of your chair. Adjust your chair forward so that your knees are about 20 to 30 degrees when seated and as much as 45 degrees lower than your hips. If your chair does not have a tilt option on your chair then sit on a wedge cushion to give some extra lift at the back of your seat.

The Desk: The desk should be big enough to accommodate the necessary gadgets and items needed for work. Ideally your desk should be positioned at about belly level with your elbow just below the desktop. If possible to do so, adjust your table to the appropriate height, if not adjust you chair-preferably raising it to the suitable level. It is also a good tip to have a footrest to further support you whilst sitting down.

If you have an occupation that requires you to use a telephone fairly often, it is better for your overall posture to invest in a headset. It is not advisable to perch the telephone between your ear and shoulder, which may lead to neck and shoulder discomfort and muscular pain. When arranging items on your desk, make sure that everything you may need is within easy reach, reducing the need to stretch, bend or twist when reaching for it. The

Monitor: The biggest item and for most the very reason why you are sat at a desk, the positioning of the monitor is as important as the other components of your desk space. Your monitor should be at eye level so that you only need to move your eyes to see the whole screen instead of hurting your neck turning. The monitor should be in front of you, not to the right or to the left.

Having to look at either side of the desk to where the monitor sits coupled with other bad postural habits, will twist the spine and neck. Having to look down or up will put pressure on your neck and the muscles around your head, which could lead to headaches and terrible migraines. Raise the monitor using a monitor stand.

The Keyboard: The other key component on a desk is of course the keyboard. This should be positioned appropriately for comfortable use. The keyboard should be straight in front of you and easy to reach. Your wrists should be fairly straight. If you will be typing for most of your work shift, further support maybe best from wrist support gadgets, which lies in front of the keyboard to cushion the balls of your wrists.

The Mouse: Depending if you’re left or right handed place the mouse accordingly. Keep the mouse close to the keyboard and work area as it will lower the risk of pulling a muscle or arm ligament and also reduce the need for you to lurch forward or twist from side to side. Your lower arm should be about parallel to your desk with your elbows just a little lower.

Try not to let the weight of your arm rest on the underside of your wrist. For better support and reduce bicep muscle ache, using a special mouse pad which can provide great support will help your posture, as you will not need to move to get comfortable.

Moving About the Office

When you start sitting straighter it will seem very strange and even ache, but it will be better for you in the long run. Sometime you may not always be sat at the same desk and may either have to move or simply just re-arrange your desk area. It is best to always get someone to help you move.

Lifting equipment, regardless of your strength, it is better to have two people moving the same furniture as there will be less chance of hurting your back. Once you’re settled in your space, it is important to get up from your desk at least once every hour and have a walk around or other small chores to give your body some movement and so that your back, lower back and hips will not get stiff from sitting down too much. When seated, try to change the position of your feet or rock about (not like a swing, but gently) in your seat occasionally to raise your body temperature sufficiently enough to prevent tiredness, which will in turn prevent temptation to slouch or lay your head to rest on the desk which could harm your posture and cause severe discomfort.


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