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Office Ergonomics - Common Office Injuries

Vision problems continued...

Solutions. You can reduce your risk of vision problems from improper lighting with:

  • Full-spectrum lights, which may help reduce eyestrain.
  • 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 most.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Noise problems

Noise can produce tension and stress and interfere with your ability to concentrate. And it can damage your hearing.

  • Common office noise sources may include:
    • Equipment, including telephones, computers, and printers.
    • Many people working close together, which leads to more voices and foot traffic around work areas.
    • Noise outside the building that comes through office windows.
  • Even low-level noise can reduce your productivity and increase stress levels, leading to problems with muscles and joints.
  • High-level noise is regulated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as this type of noise can lead to significant hearing loss.

Solutions. You and your company can reduce your risk for hearing loss or other problems associated with noise levels with:

  • Earplugs, to reduce background noise.
  • Acoustic ceiling tiles, to absorb some noise.
  • Relocation of noisy equipment.
  • Window glass, to block out excessive noise.
  • Carpets, to help absorb foot-traffic and conversational noise.
  • Noise-reducing partitions, to reduce noise around workstations.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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