There's Something to Be Said About Office Ergonomics

Michele Warg
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For administrative professionals, it is not uncommon to spend a great deal of time in a single position. If your office ergonomics are not up to par, the way you work may be causing physical pain. Adjusting your workspace setup can help reduce soreness and help you create a healthier posture.

Computer Position

When it comes to office ergonomics, one of the biggest problems is computer position. The computer screen should be positioned directly in front of your face; lower or higher, and you're forced to hold your neck in an unnatural position. Over time, this can lead to neck pain, back pain, headaches and soreness. For desktop computers, use a monitor riser to lift the computer. If you use a laptop, invest in a special laptop stand and a wireless keyboard to enable efficient typing. The screen should sit at least 18 inches away from your face, to reduce eye strain. When you sit in a comfortable neutral position, ensure that the center of the monitor is approximately at eye level.


After hours at your desk, it can be tempting to slump back into your chair. Doing so forces your spine into an unnatural position, which can lead to physical problems. Improve your office ergonomics by adjusting your desk chair so that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Sit up straight; imagine that there is a string attached to the top of your head, pulling straight up. It can help to scoot forward on your seat so that your feet can rest flat on the floor. If you like to sit with your legs crossed, avoid holding the position for too long to promote blood flow and avoid imbalances.

Office Activities

For some administrative professionals, it is necessary to spend hours on the phone each day. If your job requires extensive talk time, don't try to hold the phone to your ear on each call; whether you're using a hand or craning your neck to support the phone against your shoulder, holding the same position can cause stiffness and pain. Use a Bluetooth or wired headset to enable free movement while you speak. If you experience wrist pain while you work, consider purchasing a soft wrist pad. Your wrists rest on the pad while you type, reducing stress and strain.


Even with the best office ergonomics, repetitive motion and static positions take their toll on your body. Combat the strain by making a point to move throughout the day. After an hour at the computer, stand up and stretch your arms out to open your chest; doing so counteracts hunched shoulders. Gaze out the window at the horizon to relax your eyes, and walk around the office to stimulate blood flow. For maximum health benefits, try standing for 15 minutes of every hour.

For administrative professionals, a few small changes in office ergonomics can significantly reduce soreness, headaches and muscle tension associated with prolonged sitting and computer use at the workplace. Even if you feel healthy, a proactive approach reduces the chance of problems down the road.

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