Medico legal consultants have emphasized how important it is to have proper workplace ergonomics to avoid injuries.
Even though the idea of sitting in a chair in front of a computer all day doesn’t exactly bring injuries to mind, there are in fact many people who suffer because of bad workplace ergonomics.
Here are some tips to improve your workstation ergonomics for improved health and productivity.
1. Get a proper chair
You’d think that just getting a chair is good enough, but a good chair can make all the difference between hours of suffering and a comfortable seated position.
A good computer chair should have the following features at the very minimum:
- Adjustable height
- Arm rests
- Back support
The adjustable height is essential because everyone is not the same size. Arm rests reduce the pressure on the shoulders and elbows and lets you rest your arms when you get tired. Back support will reduce the risk of back injury. If your chair doesn’t have back support included, you can always request a lumbar cushion to add to it. Can you imagine yourself sitting on a chair all day without comfortable cushions? Don’t accept a wooden or plastic chair.
2. Keep good posture
Good sitting posture is easy if you know the basics. Too many people don’t know them and end up injury themselves in the long run. Here are some basic rules:
- Make sure your feet touch the ground while sitting. Get a footrest if the height of your desk prevents this.
- Your knees should easily fit under your desk with plenty of space to spare. Avoid crossing your legs and keep your knees at a 90-degree angle.
- Get up at least once a hour for a quick walk around the office and switch your leg position from time to time
- Keep your back straight and avoid hunching your shoulders. If you have to hunch to see papers or your screen, get a paper holder and get something to bring your computer screen higher.
3. Get the space you need
Often, ergonomics problems arise because a desk is too small or things are not easy to reach. Here are some ways to maximize your workstation space:
- Have everything you need within your reach. If you spend a lot of time on the telephone, make sure you can reach it without having to move or reach out.
- Keep your papers at eye level. If you use printed documents along with your computer, get a paper holder so you don’t have to move your neck whenever you need to read your paper.
- If you have a large desk with many sections, make sure your chair rolls easily between them. Do one thing at a time and avoid switching too frequently between sections.
- If you lack desk space, request a larger desk or an extra table.
Preventing injuries in the workplace is easily done with the right information. You can avoid years of physiotherapy if you have the right ergonomics set up at your workstation.
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