Having an ergonomic workstation means that your desk and the things on it are arranged in such a way, that they prevent injury and are well within reach and use. An ergonomic workstation also promotes good posture. Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting, or lying down. An ergonomically designed workstation promotes good posture and helps to:
- Keep bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
- Help decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.
- Decrease the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
- Prevent the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
- Counter fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
- Prevent strain or overuse problems.
- Avert backache and muscular pain.
Proper ergonomics plays an instrumental role in how effectively you accomplish work and will help prevent suffering from work-related injuries due to strain and overuse. In the diagram below you will find both sitting and standing workstation recommendations to achieve a proper ergonomic workstation.
SITTING: Body position guidelines
- Lower back supported by a lumbar curve
- Bottom & Thighs distributed pressure
- ARMS minimal bend at the wrist
- The area behind the knee not touching the seat
- Feet flat on the floor or on a footrest
- Wrists and hands do not rest on sharp or hard edges
- The telephone should be used with your head upright (not bent) and your shoulders relaxed (not elevated)
STANDING: Working Guidelines
- Precision Work – above elbow height
- Light Work – just below elbow height
- Heavy Work – 4-6 inches below elbow height
Physical and occupational therapists have experience working with patients to improve posture and ergonomics. Some clinics have therapists that go into the workplace and arrange a patient’s workplace, making it ergonomically efficient. For more information or to find a therapist near you