Be More Ergonomic at Work
Today, many people spend most of their day sitting at a desk and working on computers. Sitting down all day is a lot harder on the back than it may seem and can cause great discomfort. Most people think that it costs money to be more ergonomically correct, but you can do it at little or no cost!
1) Work space: Make sure that you have enough area to move around comfortably and to spread out, if needed. Place items and documents that you frequently use within reach. If you use the stapler frequently throughout the day, why keep it on the shelf behind you? Place it on the desk, in the top drawer or someplace accessible so that you don’t have to strain to reach. The things you need daily should be within arms reach.
2) Monitor: You should not have to look up or down, left or right at a computer screen. Place the monitor so that the top of the screen is at eye level or slightly below. If you allow your eyes to naturally drift, they should be looking at the centre of the screen. When working on a document on the computer, move the page so that what you are working on is in the middle of the screen. Keep the monitor at least an arm’s length away, and avoid glare from lights or windows.
3) Keyboard: Desks often come with a pull-out tray for a reason. The keyboard should be placed lower than the desk and parallel to the thighs. Keep your wrists elevated, yet flat, to avoid stress from repetitive motions. Try not to look at the keys while you are typing, as this can strain the neck.
4) Phone: It is often tempting for us to cradle the phone between our ear and neck. Since cell phones are even smaller, they can create more stress. Try using a speaker phone or a headset if you are unable to hold the phone. If you are right-handed place the phone on the left hand side so you can easily grab a pen for making notes.
5) Chair: If you are spending several hours a day sitting at a desk chair, you may want to invest in a high quality one. You spend as many hours a day in a chair as you do in bed, but you wouldn’t sleep on a hard plastic bed, would you? Keep your lower back supported and make sure that your feet rest evenly on the ground or on a foot stool. Even the most comfortable chairs can cause a stiff back, so it is important to adjust your chair regularly.
6) Work habits: Sometimes we get so involved in our work that we don’t even realize how uncomfortable we are. Try sitting up straight at the beginning of the day; that way, when you get wrapped up in work at least you are sitting up properly. If you can’t afford to take frequent breaks, try just standing up and stretching. Whenever you get the least bit uncomfortable, stand up, stretch, have a drink of water and reposition yourself.
Follow these tips to reach a new level of comfort — and with a new level of comfort you can reach a new level of productivity.
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Colette Robicheau ASP, CRSS, CPO-CD ®, Master Trainer in CD and Organization
© 2011 Organize Anything – The Professional Organizing Company
Posted on September 9, 2014, in Office and tagged carpal tunnel, Colette Robicheau, computer desk, desk chair, ergonomic, office health, office safety, office space, Organize Anything. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.