Office Ergonomics - Common Office Injuries
Musculoskeletal problems continued...
Good posture will also help prevent musculoskeletal
- Stand tall, to keep the
natural curves in your back. Slouching increases stress on your back and can
also make you feel less energetic. If you stand for long periods, try putting
one foot up on a low stool periodically to change your position. Bring reading
material up to you, rather than leaning over a low desk.
- Use good
sitting posture . Relax your shoulders, keep your feet flat on the floor, and
avoid leaning close to tasks on your desk.
- Turn your whole body to
your task instead of twisting.
If you have to lift, do not use a back belt. Back belts do not reduce strains or other injuries. And they may even increase your chance of injury by making you overconfident, so you try to lift more than you should. To lift safely :
- Keep the object you want to lift close to
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight as you grasp the
object, then straighten your knees to lift it up.
- Don't try to lift
something by yourself that is too heavy, too awkward to carry, or that will not
allow you to see where you are walking.
- Try a "golfer's lift" for
very light objects such as a pen or piece of paper. Bend one knee slightly and
allow your other leg to come off the floor behind you as you bend over. Hold on
to a desk or stable chair for support.
prevent falls, keep walkways clear of cords, clutter, and spills. Close drawers
completely after you use them. Use stepladders instead of chairs to reach high
objects. Report any hazards such as loose carpeting or burned-out lights. And
wear shoes appropriate to your job and environment.
- Regular exercise.
- Not smoking.
- Following prescribed treatment
for any other health conditions you have.
Good general health, including strength and flexibility,
can help prevent injuries. It will also help you recover faster if you are
Typical workplace vision problems
- Eye problems from either too little or too
much lighting. Poor lighting can lead to:
- Eyestrain and
- Watery eyes and red, swollen
- Double vision.
- Decrease in the ability to
focus the eyes and see clearly.
- Headaches from straining to see
- Neck and back pains due to hunching over to see small
- Accidents due to poor lighting, glare, shadows from
lighting, or moving from a well-lighted area to a dark area.
Solutions. You can reduce your
risk of vision problems from improper lighting with:
- Full-spectrum lights, which may help reduce
- Task lighting (such as lights above your workstation or
on your desk), which can increase the level of light in your office and allow
you the flexibility to position the light where it is needed
- Monitor screens that reduce glare, such as plasma screens or
removable glare guards.
- Proper placement of computer screens. Do
not place a computer screen in front of or next to a window. This creates a
contrast problem and visual stress. If you do sit next to a window, the best
placement for your monitor is at a right (90-degree) angle to the
- Window blinds or tinted glass, to reduce sun glare while
still allowing filtered light into your office.
It's also a good idea to have an eye exam every 1 or 2
years. If you wear bifocals or reading glasses, you may want to adjust your
monitor so that you don't have to tilt your head back to see clearly. Or consider
full-frame reading glasses for computer use. There are also progressive lenses
available that have a reading prescription at the bottom, a mid-distance
prescription that is good for computer use in the middle of the lens, and a
long-distance prescription at the top of the lens. The lens has these three
types of prescriptions in different areas of the glass and smooth transitions
between types of prescriptions.