Can’t afford to give your office an ergonomic makeover? No problem. Jon Cinkay from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York shares his basic workstation layout tips to prevent pain from developing later on in life.
1. Adjust your chair
Cikay shares with the Wall Street Journal that the average desk is 29 to 30 inches or 73.7 to 76.2 centimeters in height. Adjust the height of your chair so your elbows are at 90 degrees. And if your feet don’t end up touching the ground, use a foot stool or foot rest. If you don’t have either, a ream of paper should do.
2. Adjust monitor
Distance and height of your monitor are key. Your monitor should be at arm’s length to avoid eye strain, and the top should be eye level to avoid neck strain. Again, use reams of paper if the monitor doesn’t go any higher. For multiple monitors, place your primary one in front of you. If you use both equally, align them in a V shape.
For a laptop, place it on a stand, and use a wireless mouse and keyboard.
3. Adjust your mouse and keyboard
Move your keyboard to where your hands naturally fall on your desk, keeping the L shape in your elbows. Place your mouse next to the keyboard so that you’re moving your elbow instead of your shoulder when using the mouse. As the ergonomics expert reiterates, you don’t want to reach for your tools.
4. Adjust your phone
If you have a desk phone, place it on your non-writing side. That way, you never have to hold the phone with your shoulder as you’re writing, preventing shoulder pain. Also, consider using a headset if you’re on the phone throughout the day.
Cinkay also suggests doing desk exercises every 15 minutes, and physically leaving your chair every hour.