Millions of employees spend the majority of their days sitting and working at computer workstations. Studies have shown time and again that a good ergonomic workspace produces happy, healthy, and productive employees. An ergonomically sound working environment is important to help reduce specific risks of computer vision syndrome, neck and back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It also reduces the risk of disorders affecting the muscles, spine, and joints. There is no single “correct” posture or arrangement of workstation components that fits everyone, but using basic ergonomic principles in your work space can help prevent work-related injuries and musculoskeletal disorders. Here are some helpful hints to follow:
- Place feet flat on the floor. Keeping feet flat on the floor helps to keep your pelvis balanced and forward and make it easier to arch your lower back.
- Sit up tall – do not slouch. Sitting up to your full height is easier said than done, but lengthening your spine and keeping your head straight can help prevent back, shoulder, and neck issues.
- Positions wrists/hands flat and straight. Keeping your wrists straight and not resting them on the edge of your desk can reduce undo pressure on the wrist and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
- Set an electronic reminder on your calendar or your phone to take a 1-2 minute break every 30 minutes at your desk to stretch and prevent injuries. Get up from your seat to do a few simple stretches to release the stress from your joints and take the moment to rest your eyes from the computer screen’s glare. Visit Medical News Today to learn some basic day-to-day stretches that can improve strength and mobility.
- Keep a clean and clutter-free workspace. Prevent tripping hazards by keeping the floor around and under your desk free of clutter.
You can also visit OSHA for more details on creating an ergonomic workspace at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/components_chair.html.
ComPsych, the administrator for the System Office Employee Assistance Program (EAP), also offers many valuable resources to aid in understanding the importance of ergonomics in the workplace. Visit www.GuidanceResources.com to connect with various articles and videos to help become better educated on what is ergonomics and the importance of it in your workplace wellness. ComPsych also offers confidential one-on-one counseling. A counselor is available to talk with you about your concerns and needs 24 hours a day by simply calling 877-823-5715.