Is Your Workstation Helping or Hurting?

Unless you’re a professional football player, neck stiffness, sore shoulders, and general physical fatigue shouldn’t be a regular part of your workday. If they are, it might be your workstation. Evaluate these four key factors to find the source of the pain.

1. Chair: When you sit in your desk chair, can you put your feet flat on the floor, with your thighs slightly below your hips? Is there a space between the backs of your legs and the front edge of the chair? Can you sit up straight, with a slight curve in your back?
2. Desk: Does your desk allow you to spread everything out in front of you as you work? Does it have room for your legs to move and stretch out? Does it allow you to do your work without slouching or leaning?
3. Computer monitor/screen: Reach your hand out toward your computer screen. Do your fingers just barely touch the screen? If you have more than one screen, are all the screens at the same level and exactly side-by-side? When you look straight ahead, are your eyes naturally falling on a spot just below the top of the screen? Are there any reflections on the screen?
4. Keyboard/mouse: Are your keyboard and mouse at elbow height? Do your wrists have a place to rest as you type? Is your keyboard flat or angled slightly away from you? Is the keyboard one to two inches above your thighs?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, your workstation might be taking a toll on you. Make adjustments to change every “no” to “yes,” and you’ll probably suffer a lot fewer workplace pains—unless there’s a linebacker bearing down on you, of course.

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