Give Your Desk an Ergonomic Makeover in 5 Minutes

You’ve probably seen plenty of headlines espousing the risks of sedentary occupations. The average adult spends over half of their day sitting at work, the result of which can lead to an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease — certainly isn’t any better for you if you’re living with MS. So if you’re at your desk reading this right now, take a few minutes to give your workspace a quick ergonomic check-up.

1. Chair: Adjust your chair so that your feet are comfortably on the ground, knees level with your hips. If necessary, use a footrest to help keep your feet flat. Then adjust the chair arms so that your natural rest is at a 90-degree angle. Pro tip: place a pillow between your lower back and the chair to give yourself a little extra lumbar support.

2. Posture: Sit up straight and centred in front of your computer. Check that your legs are parallel and that your most essential desk items (notebook, phone, water) are within arm’s reach to prevent excessive stretching.

3. Keyboard & Mouse: Find the letter ‘B’ on your keyboard. It should be centred in front of you and within comfortable reach. Place your mouse just to the right of your keyboard. Your wrists and forearms should rest naturally, without bending as you type.

4. Monitor: Reach out and try to touch your monitor. Can you touch the screen? If so, it’s too close. Scoot it back until it’s about an arm’s length away. If you can, adjust the monitor so that the top of the screen is about level with the top of your head.

That’s it! If you find yourself feeling cramped or strained at your desk, try repeating the steps above. In addition, you can always use the 20-20-20 rule to help reduce fatigue and eye strain. Simply set a reminder to spend 20 seconds looking at least 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

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