Do’s and Don’ts for an ergonomic work space

Kimberley Payne
Mar 30 · 4 min read
Photo by Константин Сперов via pixabay

As writers, we can spend hours sitting in front of a computer without even a blink of an eye.

When in the muse, some writers even need reminders to eat!

I personally enjoy my Fitbit as it reminds me every hour to get up and move my body to ensure that I get the right amount of steps in per day.

But food and cardio aside, are you taking proper care of your wrists, hands, eyes, back, and shoulders?

Here are some simple exercises and stretches you can do to ensure you keep doing what you love to do:

Wrist

· Extend and stretch both wrists and fingers acutely as if they are in a hand-stand position. Hold for a count of 5

· Straighten both wrists and relax fingers

· Make a tight fist with both hands

· Bend both wrists down while keeping the fist. Hold for a count of five

· Straighten both wrists and relax fingers, for a count of 5

· Hang arms loosely at side and shake them for a couple of seconds

Wrist

· Face palms together in front of chest

· Keep palms together, with hands in stationary position, slowly raise elbows upward as high as possible

· Shake out hands every now and then

Hands

· Make a tight fist and hold for a second

· Spread fingers as far apart as you can for 5 seconds

My daughter demonstrating wrist and hand exercises

Eyes

· Close eyes and breathe deeply

· Cover eyes with palms, without pressing on eyeballs

· Uncover eyes after a few seconds

· Open by fluttering them and blinking

Eyes

· If looking at close work or computers all day, look away at distant things

· Blink frequently

· Imagine that you are looking at a huge clock; roll your eyes up to look at 12:00 o’clock, then move to each number on the face till you’re back at 12:00 — repeat counterclockwise

My daughter demonstrating eye exercises

Shoulders

· Clench fists, tense arms and legs

· Pull shoulders up high for 10–15 seconds

· Close eyes and imagine lead weights on shoulders

· Repeat

Shoulders

· Stand, arm behind your back, hold wrist with other hand

· Bend elbow and gently pull your arm across your back

· Hold and repeat for the other arm

My daughter demonstrating shoulder exercises

Back

· Lean over and put hands on front thighs, curve your back upwards

· Keep head turned down, arch back up

· Hold and repeat

Chest

· Stand, bring arms behind back

· Clasp hands together and gently pull arms back and up

· Hold

My daughter demonstrating chest and back exercises

Neck

· Turn your head as if to look over one shoulder

· Hold and repeat for the other side

My daughter demonstrating neck exercises

Maintaining your health includes taking care of all your body parts with regular exercises and stretches. But it also means being aware of your work space and simple ergonomics.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • vary work tasks by doing tasks that place different demands on the body by changing body position
  • work at a reasonable rate; too fast a work pace contributes to muscle strain
  • take regular rest breaks
  • use breaks to stand up, move around and change mental activity
  • place materials on your desk according to their frequency of use
  • use a document holder to place documents you need while typing close to the monitor
  • don’t lean your head forward over the keyboard, or strain towards the screen
  • only use a wrist or palm rest while resting; not while typing
  • don’t support your wrists on sharp edges or on your desktop
  • don’t hunch or shrug your shoulders
  • don’t bend your wrists while typing

Spend some time reviewing your posture and chair position.

While sitting, try to maintain your spine’s two curves while keeping the top of screen slightly below eye level. Adjust the keyboard height so that your upper and lower arms are at a 90 degree angle while typing. Place the mouse directly beside the keyboard, not above it.

In your chair, sit with both feet flat on the floor. Allow for 2–3 inches of space between the seat cushion and the back of your knees. The chair should be adjustable to fit your body; support the back, have a tilted and swivel seat and be height adjustable with adjustable arm supports. Keep the area under the chair free of clutter to allow ease of movement

Now that you’ve done a few exercises and stretches, and ensured your work space is optimal and ergonomically sound you can write that masterpiece!

Before changing your activity level, exercise routine, and/or eating habits, consult your health care professional. What is safe and beneficial for one person can be harmful for another. Note that you implement the information in this post at your own risk.

This story is published in Koinonia — stories to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family and fun.

Koinonia

Stories by Christian writers to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family, friendship, and fun.

Kimberley Payne

Written by

Author. Jesus Lover. Oma. Exercise & healthy eating are to the body what prayer & Bible study are to the spirit. https://www.kimberleypayne.com/free-programs

Koinonia

Koinonia

Stories by Christian writers to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family, friendship, and fun.

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