Ergonomics Backache

Tips on Saving Your Spine. Ergonomics!

Ergonomics Backache

That’s right, We’re Talking Ergonomics

We’ve talked a lot about what goes into a website, marketing your website, even how to manage your website while on vacation. But for this post, we’re going to take a step back from the website, a few feet outside your computer screen, to focus on you and a few tips for saving your spine and body.

You are the most valuable asset of your site.

And hopefully that makes you feel a little encouraged mentally. But this post isn’t about just making sure your self-worth is in order, I want to make sure that the long hours in front of your computer screen aren’t having a negative effect on you physically.

Physically speaking, hours and hours in a seated position staring straight ahead with our wrists slightly elevated is one of the worst things for our bodies… but it’s necessary for our jobs. The problem is, if you push yourself too far down a bad path physically for the sake of your work, eventually you won’t physically be able to work. That’s a bad thing.

If you ignore ergonomics in your workspace, you aren’t just looking at a potential back strain. You could see eyestrain, irritation, soft tissue injuries, carpal tunnel, and other nerve compression syndromes.

Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks for protecting your neck, wrist, and spine that have been found to have incredibly positive results.

Take Breaks

This is probably the simplest step towards a more ergonomic work life. Find moments regularly where you can stand up, stretch, walk a little, and this will help your muscles relax. But if you’re like me, it’s very hard to remember to take breaks when you’re right in the middle of a job, so try using free software like BreakTaker to set regular reminders.

Research Your Ergonomic Purchases

The word “ergonomic” isn’t regulated, so anyone can slap the term on anything. So, keep in mind that just because

something claims to be good for your wrist or back doesn’t mean that it is. Do a little research on each device before buying.

Do the Finger Test

Mind out of the gutter, folks, this test is for checking the height of your chair. Sitting too high is a problem (optimum height is about 16 to 21 inches off the ground), so to test your own sitting position, run a finger between your thigh and the end of your seat. If it fits, you’re in good shape. If your finger doesn’t fit, you need to lower your seat.

And by the way, if you’ve noticed some harsh sock lines on your legs or swollen ankles at the end of the day, a seat that’s too high is many times the culprit.

Set Your Screen

Once you get your chair at the right height, it’s time to check your screen. Close your eyes, relax, look straight ahead, then reopen. That should be where the center of your screen is. Raise or lower as needed so your neck isn’t craning up, down, or side to side all day. And make sure the distance to the screen is no further than an arm’s reach.

Use the Armrests

But first, make sure they’re high enough. You should be able to rest your arms on the armrests and have your shoulders slightly lifted, which means that the weight of your arms is no longer being supported by your muscle. This can reduce a lot of neck strain and can encourage better seating posture.

Keep It Flat

Your wrists should be as flat as possible as long as possible, whether you’re using the keyboard or the mouse. Adjust as needed, or get an ergonomic mouse pad and keyboard wrist rest, but just like every scuba diver in every shark movie, do your best to avoid the bends.

Remember, the healthier you are, the more focused you can be on your business, and that’s something that’s good for everybody. 

Questions? Ready to Get Started?

If you have questions or would like to get started, please give us a call at (312) 834-7787 or visit our website to request a free quote and consultation.