Even though we usually don’t perceive it, our body is under a lot of stress when we don’t sit correctly. This is especially true for those who sit down for long periods, like students and office workers.

A recent study reinforced the idea that bad posture when sitting has a nefarious effect on our musculoskeletal system. Among the consequences of bad postural habits, we can find pain in different body parts, including the neck, shoulders, mid back, and low back. Poor posture is also frequently associated with headaches and digestive problems. 

The way we sit can greatly impact our mental well-being too. In a study published in Today, psychologists at the University of San Francisco found that, while sitting in a helpless, collapsed position stimulates negative thoughts, sitting upright prompts positive memories and thinking. 

This article will introduce the ergonomic workstation, explain its benefits and illustrate how to set it up easily. 

What Is an Ergonomic Workstation?

Ergonomics refers to the science of designing things and environments for human beings in order to maximize their comfort, health, and overall well-being.

Creating an ergonomic workstation means setting up your desk, chair, and other items in a way that maximizes usability, prevents injury, and promotes a healthy posture. The right setup for ergonomic workstations can change from person to person based on individual characteristics, activities, and needs. 

What Are The Benefits of an Ergonomic Workstation?

There are several ways in which an ergonomic workstation can improve your life. The most obvious benefit is a lower risk of developing musculoskeletal problems and experiencing annoying pain in various parts of your body. 

Studies also show how ergonomic systems can significantly reduce the risk of injuries and cardiovascular diseases. They can reduce the level of muscle tension, improve the feeling of relaxation, and, as a result, your concentration and the quality of your work or study. 

By adopting simple measures, students can see a noticeable improvement in both their physiological and psychological health.  

What Are the Steps to Set Up an Ergonomic Workstation?

Here is a handy step-by-step guide on how to easily create an ergonomic workstation.

#1 Adjust Your Chair Ergonomically

Use your chair’s adjustments to set its angle, depth, and armrests so that you perceive it as comfortable. Make sure to keep your wrists straight and your forearms parallel to the floor while your elbows hang with your upper arms in a vertical alignment.

You should also set your chair’s height in a way that lets you keep your feet flat on the ground. 

#2 Position Your Monitor at the Right Distance From Your Face

The distance between your face and the monitor shouldn’t be shorter than 20 inches (around 50 cm) and longer than 40 inches (around 100 cm). Using a flat monitor can help you save space if you have a small desk. It’s also important that your monitor is located right in front of your eyes or at a very slight angle. Its contrast and brightness should be configured in a way that doesn’t stress your eyes. 

#3 Place Your Keyboard at The Right Height

You should place your keyword in a way that lets your upper arms hang vertically and doesn’t require your forearms to bend too much from a horizontal position. Consider using a keyboard tray, which can give you more flexibility in adjusting your angle and position. 

#4 Position The Mouse Correctly

Arrange things so that you can cover as short a distance as possible when moving your hands between your mouse and keyboard. This is particularly important if you're trying to reduce the risk of experiencing wrist pain. It’s also good practice to use a mouse that fits the size of your hand, as well as an ergonomic mouse pad that allows your wrist to rest and reduces pressures on your arm and shoulder. 

#5 Place The Other Items Within Reach

Any other tool, equipment, and things you need to place on your desk should be easily reachable without too much effort. Avoid positioning your pens, papers, printer, lamp, or drink in a way that forces you to stretch or put pressure on your muscles. It’s also a good practice to use a cable organizer to keep cables out of the way and keep your feet in a relaxed state.

In conclusion, poor posture when sitting can have negative effects on both our physical and mental health. An ergonomic workstation is a solution to this problem, as it maximizes comfort, prevents injury, and promotes a healthy posture. The benefits of an ergonomic workstation include a lower risk of developing musculoskeletal problems and experiencing pain, as well as a reduction in the risk of injuries and cardiovascular diseases. Setting up an ergonomic workstation is easy and can be done by adjusting your chair, positioning your monitor and keyboard at the right height and distance, placing your mouse correctly, and making sure other items are within reach. Overall, creating an ergonomic workstation is an easy and effective way to improve your overall well-being.

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