Taking into account the number of hours you sit at a workstation at work and at home, you should consider very carefully the style and setup of your workstation. There is more to choosing your workstation than the color of wood for your desk and the type of leather covering your office chair, as a bad workstation set-up can lead to back, leg, and wrist problems. Here are some tips to help you select an ergonomically correct office chair, desk, and keyboard.
Your office chair can be one of the most important parts of your workstation, as your chair supports your body and places you into a correct posture and supported position to work at your desk for hours each day. Look for a chair with a stable wheel base that swivels so your chair doesn't tip over. The chair should be well-padded and covered in a breathable, stain-resistant, and easy-to-clean fabric.
Next, look for a backrest that has a lumbar support for your lower back, preferably one that can be adjusted to the curve of your back. The seat-rest height should be adjustable and able to tilt forward and back. The seat should give you enough space so you can sit with your back touching its backrest and have two to four inches of space between the back of your knees and the chair seat. Your office chair should also have armrests with an adjustable height so your arms can rest at the height of your keyboard.
Look for a chair that has the ability recline back or lock into place, with adjustable reclining tension to create the right balance for the weight of your body. You don't want the chair to tilt back too easily or be so stiff that you hurt your back when you lean back.
The height of your office desk should sit where it allows your thighs and knees to fit beneath it without you bumping your knees whenever you sit down to work. Your monitor should be able to be positioned in front of your chair position at an arm's length away from you. The top of the monitor's screen should be at or slightly below your eye level. If you wear bifocals to see, lower your monitor one to two inches to accommodate this.
If your desk is too high, you should adjust your chair to a higher position so your eyes are in line with the monitor properly. Then, it is important to place a footrest beneath your desk to support your feet if they dangle from your chair. Your feet need to be supported so your legs don't fall asleep.
It is recommended to place your keyboard and mouse at a level where you can comfortably reach it with your elbows slightly bent. Look for a keyboard stand that can be attached to your desk that allows you to slide the keyboard forward and backward, side to side, and up and down. This allows you to select the perfect placement according to the height of your chair and your torso height. If your keyboard tray can lock into position once you find an optional spot, this helps it remain in place while you pound on the keys.
Then, it's good to use an ergonomically-shaped keyboard so you wrists and hands can sit at a neutral position, angled so your thumb and forefinger are closest together and slightly higher on the keyboard than the rest of your fingers.
Using a keyboard that has keys aligned straight across can cause you to hold your wrists at an uncomfortable angle and can cause stress on your wrists. Overtime, this can lead to inflammation inside your wrists and cause carpel tunnel syndrome. If your keyboard does not come with a palm rest, you can place a separate palm rest at the bottom of the keyboard.
Use these tips to help you find the best workstation setup.