Ergonomic products for your desk and workstation
Whether you have elected to keep working from home, or you have returned to the office, it’s always important to ensure your desk and workstation is set up properly. The term ‘ergonomic’ is one widely used to refer to the desired computer-area set up.
Put simply, ergonomics is about designing our workstations to limit the amount of strain placed on our bodies to allow us to work more safely. This will ensure that we are more productive and comfortable in our setting.
TIPS and TRICKS for computer-based work
- Check eye level at computer screen: your eyes should be in line with the top of the screen
- Adequate back support to improve posture
- Wrists should be typing and clicking in a neutral position
- Arms and legs at 90 degree angles
- Chair should reach to the back of the knees
- Feet on the floor or foot rest to ensure hips are at a 90 degree angle
My top tip
Take regular breaks!! Whether this is a short 30 second break to a longer 10 minute break, it is important that we are breaking up the repetitive nature that can come with typing, clicking and scrolling. Do some stretches, grab a cup of tea, make a phone call – anything that will allow you to reset and refresh.
Ergonomic product ideas
Sit to stand desk
Alternating between standing and sitting is a great way to reduce the continuous stress placed on our back/core and upper limbs with prolonged periods of computer work. Purchasing a desk or device that will allow you to transfer between the two is the preferred.
Computer monitor arm
This allows us to not only adjust the height of the computer screen, but also the distance away from the eyes to avoid strain to the eyes and neck.
Adjustable office chair
It is recommended to find a chair with good lumbar support. The chair should be adjustable to suit your size and shape. A memory foam cushion is desired to improve comfort and reduce the risk of pressure areas that can result from prolonged sitting.
If you have a job where lots of clicking and scrolling is required – this one’s for you! A mouse that can relax the hand in the hand-shake position can reduce the pressure that is placed on wrists. It will also allow the wrist to work in the most optimum position, so you are not placing strain on smaller muscles and joints.
Chair back support
Ideally your chair should provide optimum support for your spine, however a back support can be just as effective (and less costly). Lower back support can reduce the prevalence of slouching and strain placed on the back in the seated position.
For those jobs where phone calls are required! Headsets allow us to remain hands-free so we can use both hands to type and take notes. We also reduce the likelihood of straining our neck and shoulders as we are all guilty of doing when trying to balance our phones from our shoulders to ears.
Gel pads offer comfort from resting on hard surfaces, reducing the pressure placed on nerves and soft tissue in the wrist. You can purchase both mouse pads and keyboard pads that allow us to offload our wrists. These also helps support the wrist in a neutral position, so we are not placing strain in the smaller muscles and joints in our hands
Curved keyboards are a hidden gem with ergonomic products! They allow us to position our hand wrist in a neutral position. Some keyboards have padded hand rests to reduce pressure placed on the wrist, these are even more ideal. Curved keyboards reduce muscle tension placed on the forearms and fingers as you won’t be required to reach as far for the keys.
Recommended if your desk and chair set up is too high and your hips and knees are unable to rested at 90 degree angles.
Raised laptop support
These are recommended to raise the eye-level of the laptop screen. These should be used in conjunction with a wireless keyboard attachment, so the wrists can be supported to type in a neutral position.
There are many types of phone and tablet stands – some for sitting at desks, others for lazing on the couch. The idea behind these stands is to reduce the pressure placed on the fingers and wrists when holding the phone. They also allow us to scroll using bigger muscle movements, rather than placing repetitive strain on smaller muscles and joints.
Last but not least, a standing mat for those who like to work at their standing desk. Standing mats reduce the pressure placed on feet from standing for prolonged periods. Your feet and back will thank you for it!
Got pain? Get it checked out!
Correcting your workstation set up can help to reduce or prevent wrist strain often associated with poor desk posture and typing technique. If wrist pain persists, we recommend booking an appointment with one of our hand therapists to assess exactly what is causing your pain.
Depending on the nature of the pain, treatment may include customised splinting to assist with pain management, manual therapy and a personalised exercise program.