Good posture is essential in all aspects of life but we are finding that workplace ergonomics can be lacking for a number of people and as a result injury can occur.
Workers who sit at their desk for hours on end before going home to sit in front of the TV increase their chances of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and obesity.
Individual workstation assessments are aimed at identifying risk factors at the workstation that may cause injury and finding preventative solutions to these problems.
An active worker is a more alert, productive and engaged worker, so how can you be more active at work?
- Stand as often as you can. This might be mean standing for a phone call or when reading a hardcopy document.
- Remove your bin from your desk so that you are forced to walk to a central office rubbish bin to discard waste.
- Use the stairs between office levels rather than the lift.
There are a number of things you can adjust in order to acquire a better posture during work hours.
Having both and adjustable desk and chair are important to ensure you can set your workstation up to a point that fits you.
- Adjust your chair so that when your buttocks are right at the back of your chair, your feet rest flat on the floor, and your hips are slightly higher than your knees.
- Adjust your desk to ensure that when your shoulders are relaxed back and down, your forearms rest horizontally on the table.
- Your keyboard should be positioned directly in front of you with your wrist and forearms supported on the table. This helps to prevent forearm and wrist aches and pains.
- Ensure you are not over-reaching for your mouse by keeping it adjacent to your keyboard and elbow by your side.
- Your screen should be positioned around arms-length away from you. When looking at the screen your head should be in a neutral position (neither tilted forwards nor backwards).
If you have a sit-to-stand desk, alternate periods of sitting and standing throughout the day. Early research suggests you should only spend 1 hour standing for every 1–2 hours sitting. This is far better than half a day sitting followed by half a day standing as these are still significantly long periods of time.
- Set your standing desk at about elbow height. This means your elbows should be in a 90 degree position from the floor.
- Natural “S” shape curve of your spine maintained
- Shoulder relaxed back and down
- An arm support is soft padding or surface area that attaches to your desk. It is designed to reduce pressure on the wrist that operates the mouse. This is a well-researched area, with numerous studies showing arm supports can significantly reduce the risk of developing neck and shoulder problems
- Feet hips width apart with weight evenly through both legs
- The top of your screen should be eye level, with a small upwards tilt of between 10 and 20 degrees.
General office tips:
- Take a break every 45-60 minutes from sitting
- Try using an automated software or app to remind you to take regular breaks throughout the day.
- Take microbreaks (30 second break every 5-7 minutes) from keyboard and mouse use
- Vary work tasks and postures within the hour
- Use both sides of the body
- Rest and refocus your eyes periodically. Look away from the screen every so often and focus on something else for a few seconds.
- Take lunch away from the desk
- Avoid over reaching or twisting and bending their spine to grab objects from shelving and cupboards. Objects commonly used should be stored and placed in positions of easy reach and where twisting and bending can be limited.
For more information on workplace ergonomics be sure to ask your Osteopath during your next consultation. Book online today or call the clinic on 98725889