Human beings were not designed to be sitting all day; and yet many of you have jobs that require that. On the job injuries can be reduced by following some basic ergonomic guidelines. They can be broken down into three main categories:
- Proper equipment / workstations.
- Correct posture.
- Work time limitations.
Below is a basic guideline for setting up your workstation.
The key things to remember are…
- Top of screen at approximately the top of your head.
- Arms should be able to drop down, so shoulders are not tight, holding them up.
- Mouse should be very near your keyboard, so you don’t have to reach for it.
- Wrists should not bend backwards when keyboarding or mousing.
- Armrests should be removed from chair, so they don’t prevent you from getting close to your keyboard.
- Screen brightness and font size should be adjusted to your vision needs.
- A relaxed upright posture should be maintained.
- Get up and move around at least every 30 minutes.
If you use a sit-stand desk, the same ergonomic guidelines apply.
If you work on a laptop or tablet computer, you should get an accessory monitor and an accessory keyboard and set it up as shown above. We are not designed to hunch over a laptop for a long period of time.
A seemingly odd way for office workers to get injured is from the overuse of the basic stapler. Office workers who have to use a stapler, multiple times per day, often end up with carpal tunnel like symptoms, due to the repetitive grip force that they have to apply. This is easily remedied with the purchase of an electric stapler or a one touch stapler. Archimedes once said, “give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world”. A one touch stapler, uses levers to reduce the force needed to staple by 60%. Your wrists will be much happier.