Workstation Ergonomics

December 6, 2018

If you work in front of a computer for a few hours once in a while you may not be at risk.

But if you spend about 4 hours or more everyday working at a computer or device then it is wise to keep a check on these health issues. The same applies for those working on equipment / machinery which requires them to do the same movements or actions on a regular basis.

 

Have a look at our illustration here for more details.

  • 1 – 5 , Musculoskeletal problems (sometimes referred to as MSK)
  • 6  Headache
  • 6 – 7  Vision problems
  • Repetitive Stress Injury ( RSI )
  • Stress disorders

 

Musculoskeletal problems (sometimes referred to as MSK)

You are looking for ways to not strain your body whilst sitting

  • Adjust your seat height so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor. You may need to use a footrest for additional height.
  • Change the height of armrests so that your forearms are supported on the desk in front of you.
  • Adjust your seat back so that you have support around ‘belt’ level.
  • Sit close to your desk.

 

Headache and Vision Problems

  • Reduce muscle tension or pain in the neck at the base of the skull by keeping your head in neutral.
  • Adjust the height and angle of your screen, top of the screen being neat to  eye height. Use a platform or thick books to raise the height of a laptop.
  • Where possible, when typing, use a document holder in line with the screen to avoid looking down at the desk.
  • Enabling the blue light filter or shield, sometimes called Night Light or Night Filter found on many devices can help to reduce blue light and therefore increase eye comfort.
  • If you are ‘night owl ‘switching on the Night Light feature, especially if you use phones and other devices before falling asleep can help with getting a better nights’ rest. Try the f.lux app .
  • The same applies when watching television in the evening, wearing blue light filter glasses can help improve your night’s sleep.

Trouble caused by overuse can sneak up on you so, where you can, make small changes to your work station. It’s all about economy of movement here.

Small repetitive movements, such as typing, performed for hours on end at an awkward angle can cause stretching of fingers or pressure on the wrists which can turn really painful.

 

Repetitive Strain Injury

Pain in the neck, shoulder, or anywhere from the shoulder to fingers may indicate repetitive stress injury.

Look out for these early warning signs

  • Aching and shooting pains.
  • Tremors and clumsiness.
  • Numbness and fatigue.
  • Lack of strength.
  • Difficulty with day to day activities – turning on  a tap or opening a jar.
  • Cold hands – particularly the fingertips

 

Stress Disorders

No one wants to feel stressed but feeling under the weather and in some degree of back, neck or other discomfort can add to our stress levels.

We continue to show up for work and in all likelihood just can’t give our best that day.


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