Office ergonomics

Is your work environment a pain in the neck?

Since life has become fast-paced, our own health has taken the backseat. Our days are comprised out of traffic jams, hours of answering those emails and running around to make it just in time for that all too important new episode of your favorite series.

Life at the office has taken its toll and we are starting to show signs of burnout and fatigue. Pain is the new hypothetical devil on our shoulders. We seem to start resembling a question mark when it comes to posture. Headaches, shoulder pain, lower back stiffness and even carpal tunnel is the order of the day. But this doesn’t have to slow us down, we have a secret weapon: ERGONOMICS!!

Yes, designing your workstation to fit within your capabilities and limitations. Ergonomics allows for a comfortable working environment enabling maximum productivity and efficiency!

Here are 10 office ergonomic tips and tricks:

1. Make sure the weight of your arms is supported at all times. Unsupported arms lead to stiffness of the neck and shoulder muscles (which will leave you crying at the end of the day!)

2. Watch your head position! Try and keep the weight of your head directly above its base of support (the neck). Don’t “crane” your head and neck forward (unless you want that headache).

3. Don’t slouch! Slouching increases the pressure on the discs and vertebrae of your back. Use a lumbar support and avoid sitting in a way that will place more body weight in one area or the other. Move your chair as close to the table as possible to avoid leaning forward and reaching for that phone. Make sure to “scoot” your chair in every time you sit down.

4. Your monitor or laptop should be placed directly in front of you. Make sure the top of your screen is not higher than eye level. This will help so you don’t have to frequently turn your head and neck.

5. Talking on the phone with the phone receiver jammed between the neck and ear is really bad practice! You know it’s true, so don’t do it.

6. Ensure the mouse and keyboard is close enough to prevent excessive reaching which strains your shoulders and arms.

7. Avoid eye strain by making sure that your screen is not too close. It should be at least one arm’s length away.

8. Take steps to control screen glare, and make sure that your screen is not placed in front of a window or bright background.

9. Rest those eyes periodically for several seconds by looking at objects at a distance to give your eyes a break.

10. Your feet should not be dangling when you are seated. If your feet don’t comfortably reach the floor or there is pressure on the back of your legs, use a footrest of lower the keyboard and chair.

A healthy lifestyle shouldn’t cost you an arm or leg. Sometimes small changes in your daily living can make the world of difference.

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