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Office ergonomics: Staying comfortable at your desk

Office ergonomics: Staying comfortable at your desk

How to avoid computer eye strain

Working with a computer 9-5 can strain your eyes, leading to
symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision and fatigue. To help prevent the
problem, take regular breaks from the screen. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: focus
on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Browser apps like Gimme
a Break!
will remind you when your eyes are due a rest.

You should optimise your monitor settings, too. Contrast in
lighting forces your eyes to work harder, so try to ensure that screen
brightness complements that of your surroundings. Also, adjust the colour temperature
of your display to reduce the amount of blue light – this has a short
wavelength that puts more strain on the eyes.

Finally, listen to your optician. Go for regular eye tests
and let them know that you work with a computer. They will recommend the most
comfortable glasses or contact lenses for the office, if necessary.

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How to maintain good posture at your desk

Sitting for extended periods of time can lead to aches and
pains – especially if you have poor posture. It is crucial that desk workers have
an ergonomic
office chair
that provides support in all the right places.

Lower-back support is crucial to avoiding back pain. Most
chairs have built-in lumbar support, which contours to the shape of the user’s
back, but you can also use a backrest.

Adjust your seat height so that your elbows are in line with
your keyboard. Your wrists should remain parallel to the desk while typing, so
keep your keyboard flat and use a wrist rest if necessary.

To prevent neck strain, ensure the top of your monitor is at
eye level – you may require a stand. If you cannot place your feet flat against
the floor while keeping your knees in line with your hips, you’ll also need a footrest.


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Optimal temperatures in an office

Research
from Cornell University
showed that increasing office temperature from 68
Fahrenheit (20 Celsius) to 77 Fahrenheit (25 Celsius) correlated with a 150 per
cent increase in output, and a 44 per cent drop in typing errors. A study from the Helsinki
University of Technology
suggests that the optimal temperature for
productivity is around 22 Celsius (72 Fahrenheit).

Setting the thermostat appropriately is therefore an
effective way to increase workers’ comfort and increase output. If you’re an
employee without control over the air conditioning, wear layers so you can stay
at your ideal temperature throughout the day.

Do you have any other
tips for staying comfortable at your desk? Share your advice in the comments
section below!

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