Tips for Preventing Office Injuries with Work Station Design

Office work is one of the most common causes of musculoskeletal pain. Consequently, it can lead to chronic, debilitating injuries which can seriously affect the quality of life at work and even at home. Good posture and work station design can assist to maintain health and prevent injury. Here are a few simple tips for preventing office injuries, and reduce the possibility of injury or lessen its impact.

The DeskTip 1 – The Desk

The first tip for preventing office injuries is to rearrange your desk, and keep things which are used often within easy reach. Conversely keep things which are not used often out of the way, so they don’t clutter the work space, especially around the mouse. This is to ensure that arm movements are kept within a comfortable range most of the time and that you aren’t working in cramped conditions.

Screen PositionTip 2 – Screen Position

The next tip for preventing office injuries is adjust the top of the screen to be approximately eye level and 60 to 70 cm away from you.

Tip 3 – Keyboard Position

To prevent shoulder pain place the keyboard 6-7 cm away from the edge of the desk. The keyboard should be at a distance so that the upper arms can hang comfortably without having to reach.

Tip 5 – The ChairThe Chair

For good spine health the chair should provide lumbar support. The knees should be lower than the hips with both feet comfortably on the floor.

Tip 4 – Take Regular Breaks

Blue screen can cause eye strain. Take a break for at least 5 minutes for every hour of keyboard mouse activity, and look away from the screen for 10 to 15 seconds for every 15 minutes of screen use.

Exercises can also be beneficial to allow blood flow back into tired joints and muscles.

1. Shoulder Rolls

First, circle both shoulders forward several times. Then, circle both shoulders backwards several times. Finally, repeat 3 to 5 times.

2. Eye Exercises

Try blinking, and looking at a distant object.

3. Neck Stretches

First, gently tilt the head towards the left shoulder, and hold for 10 seconds. Next, slowly roll the chin across the chest to have the head tilted towards the right shoulder. Then, hold for 10 seconds. Finally, repeat several times.

4. Wrist Stretch

First, interlace fingers. Next, put palm outward and straighten arms to the front. Then, hold for 10 seconds. Finally,  repeat several times.

5. Foot Rotation

First, hold onto chair with hands at either side. Next, straighten one leg and lift the foot a few centimetres off the floor. Then, rotate the foot and ankle both ways. Finally, repeat with toes pointed up and pointed down.

Notes for the exercises…

  1. Do a few exercises, a few times each day
  2. Make sure you relax and perform them gently
  3. Do not over stretch
  4. Stop if you feel discomfort
  5. Remember to do each side

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