Healthy body

Creating The Correct Working Environment For You

As a large amount of NICS are working from home, the working environment is quite unfamiliar to what you have been used to. As we tend to spend long periods of time sitting. This along with different ergonomics- that is the physical set up of your working environment.

It is important that you have developed the correct working environment for your health.  This is can be seen as desk health. Desk health has been stated to be a major public health concern that has significant impact on productivity, work ability and quality of life.

By creating the correct office environment you are safeguarding your health. 

Seeing the bigger picture:

A recent review of evidence investigated which interventions best improve your desk health and reduce discomfort.  It was found that, exercise in conjunction with education showed greatest effectiveness in improving quality of life for desk workers. Take home message- move more!

Exercise approaches include:

Strengthening of the abdominal and back muscles (trunk muscles), body weight exercises (e.g. lunges, squats etc.), weight training and cardiovascular exercise (walking, swimming etc.). Duration varied for each session from 5-60mins. In this sense anything is better than nothing.. If you would like some inspiration and guidance click here.

Educational approaches include:

Instructions on efficient lifting, and information on potential causes of back pain, as well as anatomy of the back. If you would like to learn some tips click here.

Additional tips to improve your ‘’ Desk Health’’

  1. Making modifications

Modifying your positioning throughout the day will help in specific contexts (e.g. when you find a specific position provocative, you can manage that symptom through a simple change modification).

    2.Take regular breaks

Move more often at your desk. Make sure you change your posture as often as is practicable. Frequent short breaks are better for your back than fewer long ones. It gives the muscles a chance to relax while others take the strain

  3.Supporting your back

Reduce your risk of back pain by adjusting your chair so your lower back is properly supported. A correctly adjusted chair will reduce the strain on your back. Get 1 that is easily adjustable so you can change the height, back position and tilt your knees should be slightly lower than your hips. Use a footrest, if it feels necessary.

  1. Adjust your chair

Adjust your chair height so you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor. This can help prevent repetitive strain injuries. Your elbows should be by the side of your body so your arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint.

  1. Rest your feet on the floor

 Place your feet flat on the floor. If they're not, ask if you can have a footrest, which lets you rest your feet at a level that's comfortable. Don't cross your legs, as this may contribute to posture-related problems.

  1. Place your screen at eye level

Your screen should be directly in front of you. A good guide is to place the monitor about an arm's length away, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level. To achieve this, you may need a monitor stand. If the screen is too high or too low, you'll have to bend your neck, which can be uncomfortable.

  1. Have the keyboard straight in front of you

Place your keyboard or keypad in front of you when typing. Leave a gap of about 4 to 6 inches (100mm-150mm) at the front of the desk to rest your wrists between bouts of typing.  Keep your arms bent in an L-shape and your elbows by your sides. Some people like to use a wrist rest to keep their wrists straight and at the same level as the keys.

  1. Keep your mouse close

Position and use the mouse as close to you as possible. A mouse mat with a wrist pad may help keep your wrist straight and avoid awkward bending.

   9. Make objects easy to reach

Position frequently used objects, such as your telephone or stapler, within easy reach. Avoid repeatedly stretching or twisting to reach things.

  10.  Avoid phone strain

If you spend a lot of time on the phone, try exchanging your handset for a headset. Repeatedly cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can strain the muscles in your neck.


 For more information