Make your work space more comfortable

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Many of us sit at a desk and stare at a computer for hours while at work.

But by making a few changes, experts say you can make the workday more comfortable and better for your health.

Like many, Ronda Kayser works at a desk with a computer in front of her to get her work done. About a year ago she made some changes to her work space to make it more comfortable and alleviate stress on her body.

“I have a sit to stand station so it’s really nice because I can choose whether I want to stand up or sit down while I’m working,” Kayser said.

She also has a foot rest under her desk, which she says has helped eliminate some of the pain she was experiencing before.

“I had some hip pain, and some lower back pain and it’s really helped to alleviate that. I’m a lot more mobile as well,” Kayser said.

Barbara Smythe, a physical therapist and certified ergonomics specialist says a sit to stand station is just one way you can make your work area more comfortable.

“Ergonomics just means, when we’re talking about it in the computer work station we’re trying to adapt the equipment to fit the individual,” Smythe said.

She says making sure things like the lighting, temperature and noise levels that aren’t distracting can help employees feel more comfortable and be more productive.

Even simple things like raising or lowering your chair can make a big difference.

Smythe says if you’re not sitting properly, and are constantly reaching for items on your desk you can start to develop cumulative trauma disorders.

“What that means is over time, we don’t always realize that when we’re reaching for things, looking too low or too high, we start to have increased stresses to our muscles, our joints and our spine,” Smythe said.

With her success in reducing pain, Kayser isn’t sure she could ever go back to a standard desk setup.

“It would be really hard to go back to just sitting all the time,” Kayser said.

Something else to keep in mind, make sure you get up from your desk every 1 to 2 hours to walk around during the day.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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