How to Create an Ergonomic Work Environment

If you sit for long periods of time, consider creating an Ergonomic Work Environment for yourself

Most professionals sit in the same position at their desk for long periods of time. Too long. And if you are reading this, you may be in that group too. And I’m sure you’ve read many articles about getting up from your desk more often, and maybe a few books too. But has that gotten you up from your chair on a regular basis the way you should? If you are like me, chances are, probably not. So, maybe what we can do is create an Ergonomic work environment.

What is an Ergonomic work environment?

Ergonomics is the science of designing a job, equipment and/or workplace to fit the worker. The goal is to optimize the “fit” between each worker and his or her work environment to optimize performance and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries.

~ Wikipedia

Don’t sit or stand too long

Now there are compelling reasons why you shouldn’t sit for long periods of time. And the same can be said for standing too long. But the position of your body in relation to your work environment is important too. This can be covered in one word – Ergonomics.

We found a good article that explains ergonomics and give tips for proper positioning to help you to stay pain-free. Computer Ergonomics by Gary Heiting, OD.

Here are the government guidelines for computer ergonomics:

  • Top of computer monitor at or just below eye level
  • Head and neck balanced and in-line with torso
  • Shoulders relaxed
  • Elbows close to body and supported
  • Lower back supported
  • Wrists and hands in-line with forearms
  • Adequate room for keyboard and mouse
  • Feet flat on the floor

Self-check throughout the day

So now that you know about ergonomics and it’s at the top of your mind. Start now to incorporate the Tips into your work environment. Take a periodic self-check throughout the day to consciously note if you are slouching, leaning forward or your bending your neck. Don’t delay – do this immediately. Also see the Foot Rest and Foot Massage to start feeling good right away.

And if you do want to take it to the next level and try something new or your Dr. is recommending a change, we’ve compiled a few options to help you think about what best suits your needs. We don’t want you to spend your hard-earned money on something that goes unused ( I’ve had a treadmill full of cloths and best intentions! ). See if you can narrow down what options are ‘must haves’ for you by reading below.

Consider before buying an Ergonomic Work Environment…

No matter what, this is a personal decision and here are some things to consider before making a change to your work environment:

  • Ergonomics – do you have aches and pains that may be related to the quality of your chair or the position of your body when working? Depending on what hurts, you may want to adjust the chair you use, or adjust how you sit.
  • Can you easily change from one type of desk to another? For example – sitting to standing and back to sitting. If this is disruptive and hinders your ability to focus on your work, you probably won’t change it up or down very often. Be sure you look for a desk that is simple to move up and down easily and can be done quickly (w/o tools or someone else’s help or moving everything off the desktop).
  • What other products do you need? For example – if you buy a standing desk, you’ll want to have a soft mat to stand on – this will protect your legs and spine. Keep in mind that to be ‘ergonomically correct’ you should have a foot rest when sitting.

Tip: Set recurring calendar reminders to ‘switch’. In other words, stand if you are sitting, sit if you are standing – you get the picture… Or, better yet – set it to remind you to be active too so you can reap the benefits of being more active during your work day. Simply set it to take a walk and give it a fun subject and picture.

Ergonomic Work Environment – Desk Alternatives:

  • Can you think of any other types?


Chairs available:


Office Chairs & Accessories…

Balance Ball Chair
Lumbar Support Chair
Ergonomic Desk Chair Cycle While You Work!

Cycle While You Work!


Which desk is right for you?

So, now that you know the options, think about the type of work you do. What items do you need at your fingertips? Would you be ok with bending down to get them when the desk is in Standing mode?

  • computer, iPad or Surface
  • dual-monitors (or three)
  • lamp
  • calculator
  • phone or other devices and/or chargers?
  • water bottle, or coffee / tea-cup
  • stapler, paper clip holder, tape, mouse
  • in-box
  • pad of paper
  • papers for the project at hand (room to spread out?)
  • office space – can you move your chair out-of-the-way when you aren’t using it
  • any other items you must have at your fingertips for a productive day

So, now that you know what to think about and what you need on top of the desk, think about whether you need them on the same level. If your computer is up on a pedestal but there’s no room for a cup or paper, then you’ll keep bending to reach for things. That would be a nuisance. So get a rough guesstimate of what you need for each level before you buy and be happy with your choice!

Want an Ergonomic Work Environment?

Then You Might Consider…

Get Up!

Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It

Get Up - book by James Levine

By James A. Levine, MD

The Office Workout

The Office Workout 75 Exercises you can do at your Desk

The Office Workout by Kent Burdenby Kent Burden

Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World

Deskbound by Dr. Kelly Starrett for an Ergonomic Work Environment

by Kelly Starrett

Thinking about a Standing Desk? 

Standing Desk Right for You - Try an Ergonomic Work Environment

A Guide to Improve Your Work Wellness

by Shani Soloff

You’ll Stand And You’ll Like It
Standing desk for a Ergonomic Work Environment
Computer Ergonomics 7 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy at Your Desk
Computer Ergonomic Work Environment
Stand up for your Health!
Exercise while sitting at your Desk
Desk Exercises for a healthier work environment

Be kind to your feet!

Varidesk Standing Comfort MatVaridesk Standing Comfort Mat Steppie Balance Board

Steppie Balance Board

Under Desk Foot Rest

Free-floating platform tilts back and forth for leg stretches and increased circulation

ErgoFoam Ergonomic Foot RestErgoFoam Ergonomic Foot Rest

Desk options…

Travel Standing Desk

Dual Monitor Stand Up

Elevated Laptop Stand

Elevated Laptop Stand


Adjustable Height Retractable Keyboard

Pre-assembled Adjustable Desk

Best of luck with your Ergonomics and have fun choosing your next desk!

We hope you enjoyed reading this and want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit us!!

PS. We know how busy you are – let us know what you are looking for. We’ll have fun shopping and we’ll add to our shopping pages. You can shop here and with a tap, you’ll have the security and convenience of shopping on Amazon.

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Author: Joan E Wilder

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

2 thoughts

  1. This is great Joan, I can read about what to do then do something about it by ordering “to do about it”
    Thanks,
    Gary

    1. Thanks for writing Gary – I hope this helps you be more conscious of your body position as you work. Personally I tend to lean into my computer as the day goes on so I cut and pasted the OSHA tips and taped to the side of my computer :) Good luck to you!
      Thank you again for taking time out of your busy day to write us!

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