The fast-paced environment of the modern workplace often leaves little time for employees to consider the health implications tied to their altered posture and heightened stress levels. The resultant series of aches, pains, and long-term injuries are often seen as an inevitable part of office life. However, at Align Your Spine Chiropractic, a Frankfort-based chiropractic clinic, we aim to challenge and change this common presumption. This transformative approach lies within the realm of workplace ergonomics – optimizing one’s workspace to better support their health and wellbeing. 

Whether you work in a remote office or have joined the millions who work from home, many people suffer from back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, poor posture, and more. In the spirit of preventing these health issues, here are some tips on how to improve ergonomics in your workspace. If you have questions, would like to learn more, or are looking for a chiropractor in Frankfort, KY, please contact us to make an appointment.

What is Workplace Ergonomics? 

Workplace ergonomics is the study and implementation of designing a workplace in a way that minimizes the risk of injury or harm. It involves arranging the work environment (like desks, chairs, computers and other equipment) to fit a person’s physical requirements instead of forcing them to adapt physically to their workspace.

The goal of ergonomics is to improve employee mobility, posture, and efficiency while reducing repetitive strain, fatigue, and inefficiencies. Taking into account factors like body posture, physical movements, lighting conditions, and use of equipment, ergonomic practices aim to mitigate work-related musculoskeletal disorders, eye strain, stress, and other health issues. This dynamic can lead to improved comfort, job satisfaction, and productivity, as well as reduced healthcare costs and absenteeism.

Ways to Improve Your Workplace Ergonomics 

Improving your workplace ergonomics requires a holistic evaluation that considers both equipment and work habits. The following are great ways to begin: 

Invest in a Good Chair

If you do a lot of sitting while you work (like a lot of people do), having a quality chair will make all the difference. The first tip in picking out a good chair is to find one that supports the lumbar region. This is a point of emphasis as most back pain problems start from prolonged periods of sitting. A good chair has a straight back and is adjustable in terms of height. The chair should also be able to tilt back slightly.

Pay Attention to Your Posture

Being mindful of your posture will go a long way toward enhancing your comfort, well-being and productivity at work. Your back should be fully supported by the backrest of your chair, with your feet flat on the ground. The height and angle of your chair should be adjusted such that your knees are at hip level. While working at a desk, remember to sit close to your keyboard and position it so that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Also, make sure to keep your keyboard and mouse close. you should be able to reach your keyboard and mouse when your elbows are at right angles and close to your body. This prevents you from reaching out too far frequently, which can cause strain over time.

Stand Frequently

Sitting too long can cause pain and discomfort, so it is important to stand up and stretch regularly. Standing desks are a great solution for this issue, as they allow you to easily switch between sitting and standing while working.

Get Adjustable Equipment

Investing in adjustable equipment is an essential way to reduce strain at work. Ergonomic sitting and standing positions are only possible if your work equipment such as chairs and desks are at the correct height for your body. 

If you work with a computer, make sure to consider the height of your monitor. Ideally, the top of your screen should be at eye level or below so you are not straining your neck. If you use several monitors, make sure they are close enough together to reduce head movement from side to side. 

Proper Distance

In relation to repetitive activities, ensure that the most frequently used work equipment is properly positioned and within easy reach. Laptop and computer monitors should be at eye level and about an arm’s length away from the employee. When using a keyboard, keep it at about 90 degrees, with shoulders, elbows, and wrists properly aligned and without any tension. 

Increase Motion

Increasing motion is one of the most beneficial ways to reduce aches and pains. It doesn’t require a lot of time, but standing up or moving around can help blood flow and reduce strain. Taking short breaks every 30 minutes or so can keep your muscles refreshed and reduce fatigue. Use this time to do some simple stretching exercises for your neck, back and arms or take a short walk around the block. Once you have a chiropractic evaluation, Dr. Socha at Align Your Spine Chiropractic will also provide you with some exercises to help support the spine.)

Speak with a Chiropractor

Ergonomics is not just about your workspace’s physical environment but also about taking care of your body by maintaining good posture, taking breaks, and exercising. Improving the ergonomics of your workplace, such as investing in optimized equipment with customization and adjustability, can greatly improve your life and productivity, but sometimes extra support is needed. If you find yourself dealing with work-related aches and pains, consider reaching out to Align Your Spine Chiropractic today! 

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