The majority of office workers will have experienced some physical discomfort or even pain at some point due to the long hours spent at work. Yet all too often, these ergonomic issues go ignored and can lead to long-term physical injuries such as RSI or fatigue and can even contribute to burnout.
Links have been made between poor working environments and employees taking days off sick, as reported in the Telegraph. Even simple changes like fixing the air conditioning, replacing a light or mending a broken chair lever can have a beneficial effect on physical and mental health in the workplace. Here are a few ergonomic tips to improve employees’ wellbeing.
Head and Neck
Your monitor should be at eye level to keep your neck aligned and at a distance of an arm’s length. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, consider having a pair that focuses specifically at that length for computer use. If you use the phone for prolonged periods of time, make sure you use a hands-free headset or speakerphone so that you maintain your posture. Never wedge the phone between your ear and shoulder while working.
A chair with armrests will help support your arms, elbows, and shoulders as you work, with its height, back, and seat adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground to reduce back strain. Fully adjustable operator chairs are designed to provide flexible ergonomic support, whatever your work’s requirements. There’s a wide choice available from various online outlets. The range of operator chairs here will suit any budget. If you need to, use a footrest with an adjustable angle to support your legs and ankles.
Keep Objects Within Reach
Your computer mouse, keyboard and other objects on your desk should be kept within easy reach to prevent physical strain through awkward stretching.
It’s important to get up and move around at least once an hour. It doesn’t matter how ergonomically perfect your workspace is, your health depends on movement. It keeps your circulation in check, loosens muscle tension and provides exercise. Even if it’s just to go and make a coffee, it still makes a difference. Make sure you make the most of your lunchtimes and break times too by walking as much as you can.