Anyone with a desk job has at one point felt pain or discomfort in their neck or back. Slumping at a desk with your head bent down is a common scene in everyday office life.
A stiff chair, an unsuitable desk height, or a cramped keyboard can take a toll on your productivity, mood and health. Pain in your neck or back usually occurs due to sitting too long in unnatural positions, as well as staring at the screen with your neck sticking forward.
Our bodies are simply not designed for excessive sitting and leaning. In this article, we will discuss how you can get the neck and back support you need with an ergonomic office chair, and why you should consider setting up an ergonomic workstation.
Benefits of an Ergonomic Desk Chair
Ergonomics helps you achieve (and keep) a healthier posture at the workplace, resulting in more productivity and engagement. By using ergonomically-designed products and rearranging your workspace, you can use less energy, work in a more natural and comfortable environment, and put less stress on your body.
Optimal comfort while working can transform your entire workplace mentality. Ergonomically-designed furniture and equipment offers more balance, enabling you to change body positions throughout the day.
Stress levels can rise when you’re feeling overwhelmed. In the office, this can be due to lack of comfort, not sitting straight, or straining your neck. That’s why ergonomics makes a big difference. Ergonomically correct positions aren’t always the most comfortable ones at first, mainly because it requires you to correct your unhealthy posture. However, they can help you combat the harmful effects that 8 hours of sitting can have on your body.
How to Make an Ergonomic Workstation
The goal of ergonomic furniture is to fix your posture, realign your spine, and prevent work-related injuries. This lets you focus on your work without constantly shifting in your seat. Good ergonomic design will also support the upper body in a neutral position while working at a computer or at a desk.
Items you need for work should be within your reach so you don’t stretch out your arms too much. Office chairs should prevent slouching and dissuade you from experiencing annoying stiffness in the neck or back.
What you do in your rest time is equally as important. Even if you follow all the ergonomic rules, take five to ten minute breaks every half hour to walk, do yoga or exercise. Stretch often to keep your muscles active.
When you take breaks, consider relaxing your eyes, wrists, hands, and neck muscles. Light exercise is also a great way to relieve tension and improve your long-term health. If you find yourself struggling to focus on your tasks, a short break might be just what you need.
Get Neck Support for Office Chair Ergonomics
Fatigue caused by a poor work setup is a literal pain in the neck when you need to stay focused. Instead of embarking on a trial and error journey, here are some proven tips that you can put into practice:
Chairs with a headrest provide support for your neck by keeping your head straight. The head should be placed against the headrest for your spine to be in a natural position. Headrests offer stability and balance for the upper part of your body. Chairs without a headrest will encourage leaning your head forward, which adds strain to your neck all day long.
When sitting, the upper body load goes to the buttocks, which is why a wooden chair is extremely uncomfortable. Getting a support pillow is a quick fix to an uncomfortable chair that won’t break the bank. This will distribute the weight load across a supportive, comfortable cushion, which prevents lumbar discomfort.
A neck support pillow for an office chair is just what you need to keep your neck comfortable. It provides firm support, allows for improved posture, and keeps your ears, shoulders and spine in alignment. You can use it for your recliner chair, car seat or during a flight.
When buying a pillow, watch for stiffness, its ability to stay cool and keep its shape, as well as how it conforms to the natural curvature of your body. Also, adjust your desk height if your new seat cushion adds a couple of inches to your seat. Back and neck support for the office chair holds your neck and back in place, preventing your head from shifting around.
Desktop Monitor at Proper Height
Tilt and adjust the height of your desktop monitor to match your eye level and easily maintain the distance. Your monitor should be placed within arm’s reach, approximately 20 inches away from your eyes. If your screen is larger, then add a couple more inches.
You should adjust the screen position to reduce glare to a minimum, making sure your eyes are leveled with the top third of the computer monitor. Tilt the monitor back 10 to 20 degrees for a more comfortable viewing angle.
Limit Phone Screen Use
Looking down at your phone causes neck muscles to contract to hold your head up. Bending your head forward puts a lot of strain on your neck muscles. Over time, it can lead to less mobility in the shoulders and neck area.
Headsets, headphones or even using the speakerphone when talking can be helpful in these situations. The weight of a tilted head puts a fair amount of force on the neck; looking down at a 45 to 60 degree angle is considered to be 50 to 60 pounds of force. So, hold all devices closer to the eye level, and instead of moving the neck, move the eyes down and toward the middle of the screen.
Extensive sitting affects the shoulders, neck and back, so adjust your working position from time to time. Switch between sitting and standing to release built-up pressure and reduce hunching forward. Hour-long sitting tightens the neck and back muscles, which prevents you from feeling alert and balanced.
Keyboard height should be evened out with your elbow height, forming a 90-degree angle. Keep your wrists flat and in a natural position. For proper ergonomic positioning, consider getting an adjustable keyboard to reduce the strain on your upper body.
It’s not just the neck — your shoulders, arms and spine have to be in alignment for improved performance. In general, ergonomics helps you feel better at your workplace. You don’t need to quit your office job or spend a fortune on a modern office chair. An ergonomic environment encourages a healthy lifestyle by reducing exertion and promoting better posture.
We all deserve a pain-free and relaxed work environment to apply ourselves to our daily tasks. We hope that you can put all of this information to good use when creating the ideal ergonomic workstation.