NCTV Episode 13

Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode, includes:-

  • The effects of an un-ergonomic workspace on your body
  • Setting up your chair properly
  • Setting up your desk properly
  • All things Ergonomic to help your posture & reduce pain
  • Complete with handy diagrams and demonstrations for a better home or work office space

Transcript

If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-

Hello and welcome to NCTV providing you with bitesize bits to help your health flourish. Episode 13 comes to you on the 11th week of UK lockdown and today’s topic is all about How To Set Your Workstation Up Correctly.

With the coronavirus lockdown and social distancing rules in place most of the worldwide, let alone British workforce are having to work from home at the moment. With the possibility of this type of work continuing beyond lockdown, the world may very well change how it does business so a shift to increased home working will need adapting to.

Whilst many office environments are set up to be ergonomically correct, many home offices are not, some understandably don’t even have anything that remotely resembles an office. Therefore, this puts a lot of people at risk to repetitive strain or postural fatigue related ailments and the need for advice on the right type of set up to minimise pain and discomfort has never been greater.

Before Lockdown, around 50% of office workers were reportedly affected by backpain and this stat will no doubt have increased since then. The good news is, adjustments can be made and measures can be put in place to better protect your body and stave off the side effects associated with poor office set up and posture at your desk.

The three main area we’ll cover are setting up your chair, setting up your desk and other considerations.

Firstly with your chair, there are six things you should consider 1) That the height is adjusted so that the desk height is at elbow height 2) Your feet are flat on the floor with your thighs horizontal and lower legs vertical 3) That your hips are at an angle of 90 degrees or more 4) Your hips are slightly higher than your knees 5) If required for comfort after height adjustments, use a foot rest 6) If you have an adjustable seat tilt then tilt it forwards slightly.

Now looking at the back rest the two points to consider are 1) Ensure the support is at the curve of your lower back, if this isn’t, use a lumbar support cushion 2) Change the angle with your body weight until the back rest is in a comfortable position.

Onto the arm rests and the two points to make here are 1) They shouldn’t be so high that they push your shoulders up and 2) They shouldn’t stop you getting as close to the desk as needed.

Going back to the foot rest now and these should be used if you feel pressure under your thighs from the front edge of your seat. Generally speaking, they also help to address lower back fatigue when sitting for long periods of time. Finally, a top tip, try pushing your feet into the foot rest to help push your back into the back of your chair, for better support.

When setting up your desk, the first thing to think about is layout so 1) Don’t have any documents between your keyboard and the front edge of your desk as this may cause excessive bending of your neck to look at them 2) Instead, if possible, use a document holder or bookstand and 3) Have the most frequently used items close to you and within reach.

Now with your computer screen 1) This needs to be squarely in front of you and not to one side 2) Position the screen so that the top of it is at eye level or slightly lower and 3) The monitor should be at least at arms-length away.

Looking at the mouse, keyboard and phone, 1) These should be within easy reach 2) Your elbow should be bent and forearm resting on the desk when your hand is on the mouse 3) Train yourself to use the mouse with either hand 4) Learn keyboard shortcuts to reduce the frequency of mouse activity 5) Don’t grip or hover your hand over the mouse when it’s not in use, instead rest your hand on it or the desk 6) Consider using a headset if you often have frequent or long phone calls and 7) Don’t cradle the phone between your shoulder and ear as this will strain your neck.

The final section consists of three other considerations 1) If using a laptop or notebook regularly then raise the screen to the correct height as discussed 2) Reduce the clutter around your desk so that it doesn’t force you into awkward or painful positions and 3) Take regular rest and exercise breaks, ideally every 20-30 minutes as our bodies aren’t designed to sit in one position for long periods of time.

That just about covers all things ergonomic in the home office or workplace. If you’d like to refer back to the points covered here in more of a checklist form then this can be found →  HERE ← .

See you next time, bye bye.