Heather Rome, formerly of DAI (Development Alternatives Inc.), is an international businesswoman with years of experience in various organizations around the globe. During her tenure as a professional, she has worked in a number of office settings, handling duties ranging from project management to leadership training.
No matter where you work, if you spend daily time in an office setting, like Heather Rome in DAI locations, the ergonomics of your work environment may have a big impact on your health. Setting up a healthy, ergonomic workspace space may keep your body injury-free and comfortable, regardless of your profession.
The following four categories are focal points in office ergonomic design:
- The Chair – An ergonomic office chair doesn’t need to cost hundreds of dollars, but it does need to have a comfortable cushion, an adjustable seat height, lumbar support, an adjustable back rest height, arm rests and the ability to swivel. When you consider the price of a new chair, or chair upgrades like cushions and lumbar supports, think about how many hours of your day you are likely to spend in your chair. The longer you are sitting in your office chair, the more of an impact it may have on your health.
- The Desk – Your desk setup is integral to a healthy office design. Start by placing your mouse and keyboard as close together as possible, at waist height. The monitor should be at eye level and glare-free, both of which can be achieved with an adjustable or do-it-yourself monitor stand.
- The Posture – Even the most ergonomically-designed workstation may become unhealthy if you do not use good posture. You must be mindful of your body so that you do not slouch and you keep your elbows close to your body, bent at a 90-degree angle. Also, your shoulders and back should be relaxed, never tense or strained.
- The Habits – By combining an ergonomic setup with proper posture and quality habits, you may prevent many of the issues associated with stationary jobs. Prevent eye strain and keep your body moving by taking regular breaks away from your computer screen; stretching or walking is a healthy practice during breaks. Also, consider programs designed to automatically adjust the brightness of your computer screen, which are beneficial if you tend to spend long hours at your computer desk or if you tend to work late in the changing light.
Whether you’re working as a Project Manager with a global organization like DAI, as Heather Rome DAI has, or you’re working for a small start-up, the above tips can help you to ergonomically organize your daily workspace for the better. Many workplaces will pay to ergonomically-upgrade employee offices, if asked, but if you can’t implement your plan all at once, make small, regular changes to slowly remake your daily work environment.