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Guide on how to set up your workstation ergonomically

Guide on how to set up your workstation ergonomically

2022-04-11

First, Why should we pay attention to ergonomics?

Whether you pay attention to it or not, ergonomics is right there, and you will encounter this problem when you reach the age of 30 because all kinds of strain and chronic diseases begin to haunt you. In fact, you have noticed ergonomics at a very early stage, as you will often be bothered by inappropriate posture which brings fatigue in work and life, you will feel that some furniture is inappropriate, some design is not scientific, you will involuntarily change posture or change more suitable to seek the most comfortable experience.


In essence, ergonomics is to make the use of tools suitable for the natural form of the human body as far as possible, so that people who can use tools do not need any active adaptation physically and mentally at work, so as to minimize the fatigue caused by the use of tools. Ergonomics is also ubiquitous in daily life, ranging from housing design to daily life, as small as dressing and eating, which we come into contact with every day. Now, as human beings use a variety of machines and tools for a longer time, ergonomics has also become a more concerning point in product design.


To achieve the ergonomic design, it is necessary to actually measure the dimensions of various parts of the human body, the length and range of movement of each limb, as well as comfortable posture. In detail, ergonomics is an extremely complex concept of matching sizes and angles. The accuracy is even up to the millimeter level (such as shoes), and the chair is the furniture on which people come into contact and sit on it for a long time. The ergonomic design with it is particularly important.


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In terms of ergonomic design, Europe, the United States, and Japan are indeed ahead of China. After all, they entered the industrialized society many years before China. For example, the automobile industry, which is decades ahead of us, is now very mature. The design of a car seat can see the extreme research and application of ergonomics. A comfortable high-end car seat has a completely different sitting feeling, and there are many adjustable parts. Even with heating and massage functions, of course, and its ergonomic design is the best, that is why everyone prefers to buy imported brands as regards ergonomic furniture. However, domestic production and manufacturing in these two decades have also made great progress and achievement. 


In fact, you can easily sum up the core idea of ergonomics: taking care of human comfort. So what is comfort? Or what are the standards for maintaining human comfort? This is what we are going to discuss in the ergonomic chair next. 


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In fact, as long as we feel comfortable with good posture and the seats are right, for example, we will add a cushion to the chair when we feel butt pain, low back pain will add a low back pillow or waist rest, feel cold cushion with a layer of thermal insulation blanket, those behavior are all their own ergonomic improvements, which are in line with their own body structure needs. But such chair that needs to be modified by yourself cannot be called a professional ergonomic chair, or at least it is not suitable for you, and you may have bought the wrong chair because the right chair does not need any additional equipment to enhance the experience. how to find a product that suits you is related to the selection and purchase of ergonomic chairs and the matching of desktops and other products. 


Guide on How to make the selection and purchase ergonomic chairs

Now China has also entered an era in which white-collar groups occupy the mainstream. According to a rough estimate in 2021, the number of white-collar workers may be about 300 million. Obviously, with the gradual high-end industry, there will be more and more white-collar groups. It seems that the ergonomic chair has become a rigid demand product for everyone. 

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I would like to share some strategies and guidance with you here.

• Understand your needs

First of all, we need to choose according to our own needs, beca•use the ergonomic chair is not needed by everyone, because the demand for ergonomic chair is actually a way to improve and remedy the muscle and spine problems caused by bad living habits.

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If you have healthy working habits and a strong and symmetrical body, you can say goodbye to the ergonomic chair. For example, young people who like sports often exercise and keep fit, the proportion of body muscles is symmetrical, and there is no need for ergonomic chairs for spinal muscles. From personal experience, I really never paid attention to ergonomic chairs before the age of 24.


But as long as you feel pain and discomfort in your lumbar muscles at work, and even changes in the curvature of the spine and hunchback, you must start paying attention to posture and ergonomic equipment. To judge whether you need a professional ergonomic chair or not, you can judge by the time of continuous sitting every day:


•Less than 2 hours of sedentary time per day:
Any chair is appropriate, there is no need for a professional ergonomic chair, ordinary dining chairs and the like are sufficient, will not feel tired, and will not cause damage to the body;


•2-4 hours of sedentary time every day:
Young people can stand it physically, but for middle-aged and elderly people, this sedentary time is already damaging their bodies, and they must need matching ergonomic tables and chairs and have a timely rest;


•Sit for more than 4 hours a day:
No matter what your physique, it is not recommended to keep sitting for so long, otherwise, the best engineering chair will not save you, because this time violates the limits of the tissue and structure of the human body.


However, nowadays, there are many people who sit for more than 4 hours a day. Playing games, watching movies, and watching TV dramas may exceed this time. Some people in the industry may even achieve more than ten hours of continuous sitting. If you really do not have time to relax because you are sedentary at work, you can still do some remedial work to reduce the damage caused by sitting, such as the following ways. Stick to a 30-minute cycle of sitting, standing, resting, exercising, or lying down for a while every other hour. Of course, most people still can't stick to it.


If you are already looking for ergonomic chairs, you who read this article have more or less the same needs as I do: you can avoid spinal and muscle problems when working long hours at your computer desk. At the same time, do not follow the table to interrupt the work too frequently to get up and relax the sitting cycle.


How can these needs be met?
The wisdom of the working people is infinite, and after I have used so many ergonomic equipments, I also have a perfect solution that can completely solve the problem between work and rest. In fact, a separate ergonomic chair is not enough. To achieve a suitable experience, you need a full set of configurations such as tables, chairs, display brackets, etc.

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90 is the magic number 

The reason office workstations are set up the way they are is to ensure an individual’s joints are aligned. When they’re misaligned or have to sustain awkward postures, your muscles overcompensate, often leading to pain and injuries such as repetitive strain injury.  The first thing to do when setting up your workstation ergonomically is to ensure that you have your joints aligned correctly, and when doing this, remember that 90 degrees is what you’re aiming for. That means, your ankles, knees, hips, and elbows should all be at a 90-degree angle. It might help to have someone take a photo of you at your workstation so you can look at the angles of your joints. That will help you problem-solve and identify where you need to correct. 


A couple of things to note: 

1. If your feet don’t reach the floor or aren’t flat, try a large book to prop them up, it’s important that your feet are flat and supported to ensure your posture muscles don’t tire throughout the day;

2. Your back should be straight. This is where an office chair is helpful as you will be able to adjust the back position. Back and lumbar support will stop you from slouching throughout the day;

3. Your arms should be flat on the desk with your wrists in a neutral position – not flexing up or reaching down as that puts strain on the wrists. You may need to raise your chair to correct this. 

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Ready to give it a go? Check out these quick tips to get your workspace set up: 

1. Position the computer monitor/s so that you do not need to twist your neck, tilt or arch your head or back.

2. Position your keyboard directly in front of you by pushing the keyboard back so that your forearms are supported on the front part of the desk when keying.

3. Give yourself space. You should be able to use both your keyboard and mouse comfortably on the same level of the desk surface.

4. Adjust your chair to suit you, including the seat height and tilt, lumbar support, and backrest position. This includes having your feet flat on the ground or footrest.

5. Check that the screen characters can be seen clearly and comfortably and that your specific eyewear is suitable for computer use.

6. Reduce the glare and shadows on the screen. Adjust the window coverings for glare and provide additional task lighting to suit you and your task.

7. Sit closely to the desk and remove fixed armrests if they stop you from doing this.


 

 

 


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