Quick Ways to Improve Workplace Ergonomics

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June 25, 2018

8-5pm, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. A typical full-time schedule many of us are familiar with. 40 hours a week, and sometimes more than that, is a lot of time spent in the office. Most of which is most likely spent at your desk. From time to time you might experience stiff neck, aching shoulders and back, strained eyes, etc. All of these are common with office work. But there are ways around it all to make your life more comfortable and put your body at ease all while continue to work efficiently. Ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment. While so much time is spent in our work environments, it’s important to equip ourselves with the right tools to keep a positive and healthy working space in order to reach our highest potential and performance.

 

Check it out: Spice Up Your Office Desk

 

Posture

While you sit at your desk for the day, your body naturally starts to slouch over time, sacrificing the decent posture you started your day off with as you drank your first cup of morning coffee and replied to emails. Now its 2pm and you feel yourself sinking into the floor under your desk. The wrong, or improper posture can be detrimental to your comfort throughout the day. Bad posture can lead to strain in the wrists, shoulder, back and neck. Your body will warn you before your injured (yes, you can suffer injury just sitting at your desk!). Pay attention to signs of stiff and aching muscles, as well as fatigue. Once you feel these signs coming on in the day, it’s time to pick yourself up and realign your posture. Trust me, you’ll actually feel a lot better and notice you have more energy once your posture in the correct position.

 

The Screen

I can’t imagine many of you work without using a computer at your desk of some kind. Or even reading blogs like this one. Computer screens and device screens of all kinds are simply part of our day and there’s not much we can do to limit that, especially while we’re at work. While there’s no getting around our use of screens for 8 hours a day, we can help ourselves and the parts of us that resist the most to looking at the screen long term. Our eyes are highly sensitive and it’s important we protect them from the blue light emitted from screens. If your job requires you to work solely on a computer, it would be a good idea to pick up a pair of non-Rx glasses that you can wear while watching your screen. These are handy and really protect your eyes from the potentially harmful effects of long term screen usage and strain on the eye.

 

Check it out: Office Ergonomics Infographic

 

Level Up

Another way to combat the effects of the computer screen is to make sure it is in a good position. Craning your neck and moving your head around in an uncomfortable position just to get a good view of the computer, is not ideal. This can result in headaches and even blurred vision. So, instead of sucking it up and popping a Tylenol simply because your neck is killing you due to a bad screen placement, take a few minutes and situate the monitor or screen to find a better spot for you according to where you sit and how high or low you are on level with the screen. Screens and computers can move around more freely than your neck and shoulders for 8 hours a day. A good rule to remember when making adjustments is to have your screen roughly 20 inches from your face while the font type is big enough to see from where you are so your eyes aren’t strained. If your screen can’t adjust to height, and maybe it’s too low for comfort, find some old books or the right sized stand to rest it on.

 

Keyboards

Some of you may work on a laptop, meaning your using the laptop keyboard. This isn’t really ideal for long-term use and typing. Why? Well since the keyboard is attached to the screen on the laptop, it can be tricky to adjust both to fit your level of comfort. While you may need the screen to be on a higher level so it’s better for your neck, your arms and wrists suffer the consequences of a higher resting keyboard. Invest in a Bluetooth keyboard and the easily connect to your laptop, so if you need your screen to rest higher, your keyboard can stay where it needs to be on its own. Keeping your keyboard closer to your hands, relieves the stress put on wrists when they keyboard is too far away or too high. Nerve pain and carpal tunnel syndrome are common with this type of easy mistake. You can go even further and relax your wrists on some palm support padding or gel cushion to ease more pressure. Once your hands are in a good position and you don’t feel the tense pain or pressure, you’ll notice just how much more efficiently and even quickly you are able to type, getting work done even faster than before without the added pain.

 

Check it out: Easy Ways To Improve Your Typing Now

 

Legs

It’s a habit for many of us to automatically cross our legs when sitting down, but for long hours at the desk, this isn’t a good idea. Crossing your legs decreases circulation through your body and can result in nerve or tissue damage. A good rule to follow is to keep both feet flat on the floor at a 90-degree angle with your shins. Take advantage of your chair adjustments to situated yourself in this position. Or, if you are on the shorter side, even rest your feet on the chair legs can put your legs at a better aligned angle. If you want to get real creative and comfortable, try a foot rest or exercise ball to rest your feet on while at the desk to improve your blood circulation even more during the day.

 

Check it out: Office Ergonomics: Creating a Comfortable Workstation Video

 

Headsets

Here at Omega, we are all too familiar with this one. If you are typically on your phone for hours at a time during the day, your neck is probably real stressed out. You have other things to do while being on the phone, so you’ve probably set the receiver in between your shoulder and chin a lot, right? You’re probably typing or writing things down while being on the phone and unfortunately, you don’t’ have more than 2 hands. A great solution to this, is to use a hands-free headset and you can adjust to your head for the remainder of the day and work with both hands as you please and not have to bend your neck over to the side for that long.

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