8 Pieces to Solve the Ergonomics Puzzle
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, back injuries accounted for one out of every five workplace injuries or illness that resulted in days away from work in 2008. The key to preventing these work-related neck and back injuries is to evaluate your office workstations and make sure they’re ergonomically correct and promote good posture. The discomfort and pain from slouching at a desk all day is very common, with many office workers suffering pain at least once a week, your employees are working at an ergonomically incorrect workstation or practice poor posture, they can suffer from neck, shoulder, wrist and elbow discomfort.
Typically, aches and pains from office work are caused by physical stress due to prolonged and awkward positions, repetitive motions and overuse. When applied to employees’ workstations, these helpful tips will help promote good posture and correct ergonomics. Share these suggestions with your employees to improve their comfort level and minimize the risk of injury.
- Chair position – Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor, with your knees about level with your hips, making sure your seat is not pressing against the back of your knees.
- Back support – Keep your backbone straight, shoulders back, abdomen and buttocks pulled in and chin tucked. If your chair doesn’t allow this, try placing a cushion between the curve of your lower back and the back of the chair.
- Footrest – Rest your feet on a flat surface. If your chair is too high consider using a footrest.
- Computer monitor – Position your monitor 18 to 30 inches from your eyes. The top of your screen should be at eye level or below so you look slightly down at your work. If glare is a problem, turn off some or all overhead lights and close blinds if possible.
- Key objects – Arrange frequently used objects—such as pens, phones and your coffee cup—within 10 inches of your body.
- Headsets – Use a headset if you frequently talk on the phone and type or write at the same time.
- Wrist rest – Keep your wrists in a straight, natural position when using your keyboard. Don’t use your wrist rest while typing. Use it to take occasional breaks from typing.
- Mouse – Place your mouse to the side of your keyboard, so you don’t have to reach too far to use it.
If you don’t already provide these tools to your employees, consider incorporating them in 2015. It’s never too late to start practicing good posture and office ergonomics.
In addition to these tips, it is beneficial for all desk goers to take stretching breaks throughout the day. Sitting at a desk all day, even with the best posture and ergonomics, can still be damaging to the body. For more information on improving the overall health of your employees, check out Assurance University Replay and playback our Effective Wellness Programs webinar.
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