Setup & Go

Employee sitting at desk

All of us have behaviors, some of which we do without thinking, that we’ve developed into our daily routines. This may include going long periods of time without taking a break, cradling the phone to read, texting for long periods, slouching in a chair or even just how you move throughout the day.  Repetition and the length of time in which we unconsciously engage these behaviors can lead to painful and chronic conditions over time. Preventing these conditions can be done-- by incorporating good ergonomic techniques into our daily routines. Proper ergonomics is fitting a job or task to the individual person.

Check Your Work Setup:  

  • Keep your body in alignment while sitting in an office chair by sitting up straight in your chair, while keeping your shoulders and hips in line vertically. Your ears should line up with your shoulders.
  • Adjust your chair so that both feet are flat on the floor, thighs horizontal to the ground, arms even with the height of the desk and good spinal support.
  • When typing, arms/wrists should not rest on arm rests, keypad or desk.
  • Keep monitor at eye line within upper 1/3 of your screen and protect your eyes by making sure you have good lighting in your workspace.
  • Take the SF Learning ergonomics training.  Learn more on our Ergonomics page!

Establish Habits to Move Throughout the Day:  

  • Get up and stretch, stand or walk. every 30-60 minutes for 1 – 3 minutes. Prolonged sitting can lead to poor posture, which can put excess pressure on your neck and back. Adjust positions to get out of your traditional sitting at your desk mode.
  • Move, move, move! Exercise regularly to help promote good posture and prevent injury. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommend 30 minutes of physical activity a day for 5 or more days a week. The good news is that you can spread your activity out during the week, so you don’t have to do it all at once. You can even break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. Try low impact exercises such as walking, biking and swimming.  Incorporate movement into your daily schedule by parking far away from buildings and taking the stairs rather than the elevator.

Be Mindful with Activities and Readjust:  

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20-minutes look 20 feet away from your computer screen for 20 seconds. Set an appointment on our computer or phone to help remind you.
  • Increase your awareness of posture and ergonomics in everyday settings and activities. Be mindful when you are lifting, sitting, preforming repetitive motions and working in awkward body positions. Practice safe body postures. Use your legs for lifting, bending your knees rather than your back.

Incorporating ergonomics and lifestyle changes into your every-day routine can increase productivity and energy—and it can also decrease fatigue and muscle soreness. Talk to your doctor to explore additional benefits and resources that can help prevent chronic pain and conditions. For workplace ergonomics questions consult your DHR representative directly.