Student life can be full of fun, joy, and energy! But not as much fun when you have assignments, projects, or exams coming up, right?! Well it can even get worse if you do not pay attention to your ergonomics while trying to meet those deadlines! If you usually spend quite some time on school related work, whether it’s writing or typing assignments, papers, and projects or reading and looking up material for exams, prolonged exposure to ergonomic risk factors can lead to discomfort and even pain, therefore hurting your efficiency (and grades!). So, here are some ergo tips to help you stay healthy and productive:
- Pay attention to how you sit at your desk! Make sure your feet are supported comfortably on the floor or a footrest (or a stack of textbooks!). You can tell if your feet are properly supported if your hips and knees are at approximately 90-degree angles, and you can move yourself (while sitting in the chair) forward and backward around the floor without using your hands for assistance.
- Pay attention to how you sit at your computer! After ensuring proper foot support, set the keyboard and mouse height to your seated elbow height, and the top of the computer screen to your seated eye height.
- Get up often! Change your posture every 30-60 minutes between sitting, standing, stretching, or taking short walks. Incorporate more walking throughout your day by parking your car a bit further away, get off at a train or bus stop further from your destination, take the stairs instead of an elevator, get up every time you talk on the phone.
- Stretch up! Stretches are highly effective when you stay in the same posture for a long period of time. Do stretches while seated, and while standing.
- Drink lots of water!
- Breathe! A great way to de-stress is to take a deep breath, count to three, and exhale slowly.