10 Ergonomic Health & Safety Tips for Office Workers
Posted June 1st, 2020
Poor ergonomics can cause a variety of injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, tendinitis, and more conditions can all be caused by improper positioning and repetitive motions. Luckily, by embracing sound ergonomic health and safety principles, office workers can avoid many of these ailments. With that in mind, here are ten tips that can help reduce the occurrence of many workplace injuries.
1. Focus on Posture
Maintaining good posture is critical for injury reduction. It promotes better alignment, decreasing the odds that an injury will occur. Plus, by enhancing postural awareness, you may be more attuned to how various movements impact your positioning, increasing the chance that you’ll move with intention.
2. Embrace Adjustable Equipment
While taking a moment to adjust the height of a desk or the position of a chair’s backrest might seem unnecessary, ensuring everything is in the ideal place based on your body size is actually vital to your long-term health. When adjustments aren’t made, the body may be forced to stay in positions that aren’t ideal, increasing the chances of strains or other injuries.
3. Use a Headset
If you need both hands available during a phone call, it’s common for office workers to pin the handset between their ear and shoulder. This approach puts a lot of strain on the neck, potentially leading to alignment issues or injuries. By wearing a headset, this can be entirely avoided.
4. Take Desk Breaks
Keeping a single posture over a long period is usually tiring. For many office workers, spending hours sitting at a desk isn’t uncommon. To reduce the odds of an injury, it’s crucial to take breaks. Schedule time to get up and move around, allowing you to use gentle movements to relax muscles that may have tensed while sitting.
5. Keep Heavy Items at Waist Height
Office workers do, on occasion, have to lift heavy items. For example, a box of printer paper can be fairly weighty. To reduce injuries, it’s wise to store these items at or near waist height. That way, they can be picked up and placed without having to stoop, crouch, bend, or stretch.
6. Reexamine Your Workstation
As you work during the day, be aware of every movement you make. If you find yourself stretching or straining to reach commonly used items throughout a shift, then it could be wise to relocate them. Ideally, your frequently used tools and supplies should be highly accessible. That way, you don’t have to put your body through additional stress to use them.
7. Mix Up Your Schedule
If your duties include more than just sitting at a desk, consider intermixing your activities based on the kind of activity required. For example, if you spend some of your time monitoring systems on a computer and some of your time handling installations, try to switch between the two kinds of tasks at regular intervals. You may be able to reduce fatigue and injury rates since you aren’t doing a single type of movement for long periods.
8. Have Clear Paths
When you are walking around your workstation, clear paths are a must. Not only does it ensure you won’t trip or fall over an item in your way, but it also allows you to walk with a natural gait.
9. Don’t Take Lunch at Your Desk
Some office workers take their lunch at their desk. At times, the goal is to get more work done while eating. However, sometimes it’s a choice purely based on convenience. But in either scenario, it isn’t a good idea. That means spending more time in a single chair. Instead, always take your lunch away from your desk, giving you a chance to be in a different physical position for a period.
10. Walk More
A little extra walking can make a difference, especially if you don’t move much during the day. Park farther away from your building’s doors, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and use a bathroom other than your closest ones. These little bursts of movement can help, so they are a wise addition to your day.
Call Bayside Solutions Today to Get Started
If you’d like to learn more about health and safety, the team at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us today and see how our ergonomics expertise can benefit you.