The phrase ‘back breaking work’ has typically been associated with labor that requires heavy lifting and long hours in the sun. However as the world has come into a digital age, most ‘back breaking work’ happens behind a desk. At first glance the work that occurs behind a modern executive desk may appear to be easy on the body but that is simply not the case. An astounding number of businessmen and women suffer from low back, shoulder, and neck pain. Hours spent sitting in uncomfortable office chairs are made more troubling by bad posture. What can be done to alleviate some of the pain that the hard workers of this era suffer with? Let’s take a moment to consider the importance of keeping your office spce ergonomically correct.
First of all let’s consider the word ergonomic. It is derived from two Greek words the first of which is ergon and means work. The second is nomoi which means literally natural laws. The purpose of having an ergonomic office space is to be able to work within the natural laws we live with. For example, a modern executive desk can be beautiful to look at, and even carry a heavy price tag but if it does not work within the natural laws of your body it is working against them.
In the world of office furniture, all pieces are not created equal. Many desks are built with a long list of features that take priority over ergonomics. Design, style, special features, cost control and size may have been given so much attention that the importance of how the executive desks work in conjunction with your body is forgotten. So, how can you know that you are getting a desk that will make your work a pleasure and not back breaking? Here is a short list of things to look for when making this important investment in your office furniture and overall health.
- Proper Distance from Computer- Your desk should allow for an appropriate space between your eyes and the computer screen while also allowing for a similar distance between your eyes and documents on your desk. This will allow your eyes to have an easy adjustment when going from a paper document to the screen.
- Easy to Access Drawers and Files- Anything that you reach for often throughout the day should be within an easy reach. Extending your reach regularly throughout the day can be hard on tendons, joints and muscles.
- Appropriate Height – A proper desk should be at a height that is appropriate to the work that you do. If you see clients from the standing position than your desk should have tiered levels to accommodate this need. When sitting, you should always be able to keep both feet firmly on the floor. Keeping yourself at the proper height will help to alleviate lower back strain.
- Ample Surface Space- It is important that your modern executive desk provides you with plenty of space to keep your phone handy if needed as well as any other documents or files. When your desk space is limited you will find yourself cramped and this can lead to neck and shoulder strain.
With some thought and attention, there is much you can do to make your work space safe and comfortable!