Getting Comfortable and Staying Healthy at Your Desk

Take a good look at your desk.  Is it set up ergonomically so it’s comfortable to sit there and get work done?  Or do you find yourself putting that work off until you have to get it done?  It’s easy to overlook this process but the payback is huge.  Who wants to sit on an uncomfortable chair, reaching for the computer?  You end up with shoulder strain, neck strain, back pain;  you get the picture.  How's your desk setup?  Here are some ideas for creating a good workspace:

1.  Push back from your desk and sit comfortably.  Position your feet flat on the floor, hands in your lap, shoulders relaxed.  Your back is straight and aligned with the pelvis.  Comfortable, right?  Now we have your ideal sitting position.

2.  Take a look at your mouse and keyboard - are your elbows at your sides and positioned at 90 degrees?  If not, move your keyboard forward and back until you find this position.  If possible, raise or lower your keyboard or maybe your chair, to find that 90 degree elbow position.

3.  Next step is to position your screen.  This is as simple as sitting in your ideal position and stretching out your arms.  Your middle finger should touch the screen.  If you have two monitors, set them up side by side with no gap.  If both monitors are used equally, set them up centered to you.  If not, set the secondary monitor off-center and look head-on at your main screen.  

4.  Adjust the height of the monitor(s) so the top of the monitor is at eye level - so you're looking down at the screen.

5.  Adjust your chair as needed to accommodate your new position.

It's also important to get up and move every 20 minutes.  Walk around and stretch!  You will stay alert longer - and your body will thank you!

Roxanne Gross