Proper Workstation Setup Checklist
Are you working from home now, or perhaps starting to notice some low back pain or other health changes from your current workstation setup? You spend a good part of your day at your workstation, and so it important that it is set up correctly to provide you the best possible posture and position to complete your work pain free. Poorly designed work environments have the potential to cause poor efficiency, morale, and acute and chronic health issues for employees.
Office-related injuries due to a combination of lengthy sitting and poor posture include:
- Lower back pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Decreased blood circulation throughout the body
- Repetitive use injuries to the wrists and hands
- Blurred vision, fatigue, and headaches
Many of these injuries can turn into chronic long-term conditions if left unaddressed. These chronic conditions can include nerve impingement, blood pressure changes, metabolic changes, joint subluxation, digestive issues, curvature of spine, and arthritis.
Workstation Setup Check List
- Make sure that the height of your desk matches your upright posture.
- Your desk should be high enough so that you can pull your chair in without knocking your knees into the furniture.
- The desk should be low enough so that your keyboard can be used with your elbows angled at 90 degrees or slightly more.
- You should also be able to pull your computer screen forward enough on the desk space so that you don’t have to lean in and strain to see your work.
- The keyboard and the mouse should be placed in such a way so that your elbows are extended past 90 degrees.
- Your wrists and fingers should be neutral or drop lower than neutral.
- The computer screen should be placed close enough to you so that you are not straining your eyes and neck forward to see your work.
- The height of the screen should allow you to keep an upright posture.
- Adjust the height so that your feet are flat on the floor. Scoot your hips all the way back into the chair so that your spine has the entire back support available.
- Lower or raise the arm rests so that your shoulders are relaxed and that your elbows are angles to at least 90 degrees at rest. If you must, add a pillow or cushion to provide yourself with extra lower back support.
- Invest in an ergonomic chair.
Many office workers are also prone to headaches or migraines, which can be triggered by the traditional fluorescent lighting in an office space or from squinting due to improper lighting.
- Determine what your preferences are in order to minimize your eye and head strain.
- Bring in shaded glasses or a desk lamp to lighten or darken based on your preferences.
Activities to help combat prolonged and poor sitting posture:
- Change your position or work activity at least once every hour.
- Challenge yourself to exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week outside of your work schedule.
- Stand up and stretch every 20-30 minutes.
- Perform muscle building exercises like squats, lunges, pushups, jumping jacks, and shoulder shrugs at your workstation.
- Go on a short walk in the office or around the block.