If you're suffering from tiredness or general fatigue in the office, it can really impact your productivity and general outlook, making your workplace life difficult and uncomfortable.
Those long days of sitting and concentrating in front of a computer screen can create a perfect storm of painful muscles and strained eyes which can leave you feeling awful when 5pm rolls around and worse still, leave you with lasting chronic pain.
But worry not - the solution could be ergonomics...
What Does Ergonomic Mean?
Ergonomics is essentially the scientific study and analysis of the way people work and interact with the equipment and tools around them. Ergonomics also encompasses a range of furniture and user-based desk tools designed with safety, efficiency and comfort in mind. However, most importantly, it should also be considered a discipline that the desk worker lives by throughout the day.
#1. Stop slouching at your desk - A significant cause of tiredness is poor posture so don't slouch, keep your hips anchored to the back of your chair to straighten your spine, and allow your chair to do the support work as you sit. Elbows should be close and comfortably positioned to the sides of your body with your shoulders relaxed, pulled back and down. If you struggle with office posture, consider our Posture Back Cushion which encourages good body positioning habits and supports the often overtaxed lateral back muscles.
#2. Reduce the risk of eye strain - Screen glare can cause eye strain, eye dryness and general discomfort when you're staring at computer monitors all day. Every 20-30 minutes take a break - you don't have to get up, all you need to do is look around 20 metres away into the distance to allow your eyes to relax their focus. Also consider adjusting the brightness settings of your monitor relative to the brightness of your surroundings.
#3. Keep your arms supported - Before you buy any expensive ergonomic equipment, make sure your arms are bent at the elbows at a 90-degree angle and are supported by arm rests that are adjusted so your arms are straight, level and parallel to the floor to avoid any muscle straining and stretching.
#4. Adjust your monitor - To correct head and neck position and posture, ensure that your monitor is adjusted at perfect eye level. Looking up or down for long periods of time in any exaggerated way can lead to painful eye strain, headaches and neck injury, so make full use of your monitor's adjustment capabilities if possible. If you use multiple screens, move them closer together so you don't have to constantly be moving your head around throughout the day.
#5. Your legs shouldn't be hanging off the floor - Adjust your chair so your feet are resting comfortably on the floor. If your feet are hanging off the chair this will eventually lead to pain in the series of muscles that make up the back of your quads. You can either find the perfect position with your desk chair levers or you can invest in a footrest for additional support.
#6. Use The Correct Lighting - Getting office lighting right is crucial to avoid a whole host of different problems such as migraines and even vision problems. From overhead lights to the glow of your monitor, make sure you utilise the most natural sources of light from windows and consider bulbs and screen settings that are more yellowish in tone as opposed to harsher blue colours, which can cause you to squint and strain your eyes.
#7. Keep your keyboard, mouse and desk stationery within arms reach - Sitting too far away from your desk will cause you all kinds of fatigue inducing strains and stresses, so always position your desk tools and chair in a position that allows for movement without you having to overreach or stretch your muscles awkwardly while you're sitting.
#8. Take screen breaks - This may not be strictly ergonomic, but at quieter moments during the day, take a walk around your office building or go outside if you can. Not only will you circumvent desk tiredness by increasing circulation, you'll also give your eyes a rest and your body a chance to relax and shake off any tension that you've built up over hours of working in a sedentary position.