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Guide to Office Ergonomics

office ergonomics

Have you been noticing some physical discomfort while working from your desk? You might not be paying enough attention to office ergonomics and in doing so, may be participating in activities that are harming your overall health and well being!

Ergonomics is the study of the work that you do and the environment/tools that you work with to do your job.

The goal of office ergonomics is to ensure that your workspace is set up properly for job efficiency and provides a physically comfortable work environment. It's time for you to start making sure that your work set-up, either in the office or at home, is providing top-level comfort! There is no need to succumb to back and neck pain and other discomforts that can be easily avoided! We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we've established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.

Why Have an Ergonomic Work Area?

Injury and illness are common on the job, but everyone feels better if they can be avoided. Both can also affect how well you do your job! When your workstation is set up right you may:

  • Reduce neck and back pain

  • Limit headaches and eyestrain

  • Prevent tendon problems that are linked to doing repetitive tasks

  • Be a happier and healthier worker!

Following office ergonomics tips can help you to become more comfortable at work therefore, reducing stress and injury.

Injuries at Work

office ergonomics

Sometimes while working at home or from an office it can be hard to imagine sustaining a serious injury, yet it is very possible and common! Most work injuries are caused by physical stress and strain, such as sitting in the same position for too long. You might be causing stress and strain on your muscles, nerves, tendons, and joints without even realizing it! Symptoms can include pain in your:

  • Back

  • Hand, wrist, or arms

  • Neck and shoulders

If these problems go unnoticed, you run the risk for developing more serious injuries like tendinitis or bursitis, which is the inflammation of fluid sacs that cushion the tissue where bones rub against one another. You can also increase your chances of developing arthritis.

Give Your Workspace a Makeover

  • Chair:

Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor and keep your knees about level with your hips. If your chair is too high for your feet to touch the ground, consider using a footrest. Also consider a chair that supports your spinal curves. You can always place a cushion between the curve of your lower back and the back of the chair to remedy this problem!

  • Key Object Positioning:

Keep items that you use often such as your telephone or stapler, close to your body. This will help to prevent excessive stretching. Stand up to reach anything that can’t be comfortably reached while you are seated.

  • Mouse and Wrist Position

Make your wrists more comfortable by placing your mouse within easy reach to the side of your keyboard. Consider using a mouse pad with a wrist rest for added comfort. When typing, be sure to keep your wrists in a straight, natural position--not bend up, down or to either side. During typing breaks, avoid resting your wrists but instead the heels or palms of your hands on the wrist rest.

  • Computer Screen:

Your monitor should be placed directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away. Position the top of your screen to be slightly below eye level. If you notice a glare from the office lighting or if sunlight is a problem, give your eyes a break by turning off some of the overhead lights if possible or by closing the window shades.

  • Posture

While sitting, centre your body in front of your monitor and keyboard. Sit up straight and keep your thighs horizontal with your knees. Your forearms should be level or tilted slightly up.

It's For Your Own Good!

Just think of how much more productive you will be by paying attention to your body during work. Remember to take the time to stretch and move around if you begin feeling stiff. Your health and comfort are important! Be nice to your body and always be sure to allow yourself to recuperate from strain or stress. If you're feeling stiff and sore from work, be sure to implement these tips into your daily routine! Even if you're not feeling the affects of poor office ergonomics now, implementing the effects strategies will help to ensure this. Start your healing process the right way by being physically active, and consider a massage to help soothe those achy muscles and tendons!



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