ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Workplace Ergonomics Can Affect Your Health

Updated on May 4, 2010

If you've ever spent several hours sitting a computer terminal, you'll know how quickly it can lead to bad posture, which can then result in joint pain and repetitive strain injuries. With this in mind, how can you make sure that there are good ergonomics in your workplace. Fortunately, you don't need to make radical changes to make this happen and this article will guide you through some relatively minor alterations that can be made to improve your posture and general health.


You should be able to plant your feet flat on the floor while you're working at a desk. If you can't do this, your office chair probably needs to be adjusted so that it's at the right height. Tucking your feet under the chair puts a lot of pressure on the back of your knees, which can lead to knee pain further down the line.


Make sure that your desk has enough room underneath it so that your legs aren't squashed up. If you're constantly trying to fit your legs into space that isn't really there, you can get cramp. Take regular breaks to stretch your legs to limit the probability of getting cramp from sitting in the same position and it can also be helpful to move the position of your legs on a fairly regular basis while you're sitting at the desk. Even something as seemingly innocuous as crossing your legs while you're working can do more harm that you might think as it can twist your pelvis if you're sitting in that position for some time.


Keep an eye on your posture as it can change without you even being aware of it, especially when you're engrossed in getting work done. Your posture might be fine at the start of the day but as you start to flag in the afternoon, it's more of an effort to maintain good posture on an unconscious basis. It's a good idea to take regular breaks so that you can correct your posture.

Lower back

Make sure that your office chair offers good support for your lower back. If your job involves a lot of typing, you may find yourself leaning forwards and hunching over the keyboard. This leaves your lower back without adequate support. If you're straining to reach the keyboard, try moving your chair closer to the computer instead so that your back is supported.

An adjustable chair is useful as you can make sure that it is set at the right height. Ideally, the backrest's contours should follow the curves of your spine without being uncomfortable so that the lumbar curve at the bottom of your back is properly supported.


If you're leaning forward over the keyboard when you type, you'll tend to find that your neck muscles become tense and painful after a while. If your back is adequately supported using the advice in the previous section, it should be easier to avoid this.

Shoulders and elbows

The height of your office chair should be adjusted so that you can type comfortably. For example, your shoulders should be relaxed and your elbows should be able to hang by your sides rather than being stuck out to the sides. An ergonomic office chair that has arm supports helps to keep your arms in this position so that there is less strain on your neck and shoulders.


If you've got any existing pain in your wrists, it can be made worse by leaning your wrists on the desk or edge of the keyboard while you type. Instead, try to make sure that your wrist stays in line with your forearm so that your fingers are doing most of the work. You may need to adjust the slope of your keyboard to make your wrists more comfortable and you may also benefit from a cushioned wrist support at the bottom of the keyboard to encourage your wrists into the recommended position.


Being in front of a computer for hours on end can make your eyes sore and tired. To counter this, take regular breaks to refresh them and look away from the computer every so often, focusing your gaze on a point in the distance. Blinking keeps your eyes moisturized. 

Using a laptop

If you use a laptop, make sure that it's positioned on a firm surface so that you're not having to stretch your neck to look at the screen.Laptops are generally less ergonomic than desktop computers are you can't adjust the screen and keyboard for your own comfort. Because of this, they're less preferable than a desktop for long periods of work. 


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      9 years ago

      All of these comments are really great for learning more about how to improve your work space. It has been proven that a comfortable and supportive work station leads to a more productive work place and I find that my multi screen support arms work really well as I have two screens on the go at any one time and it saves me turning around to another work place to see each one...


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)