Do you ever feel “chained to your desk?” If so, you aren’t alone. For many office workers, spending all day behind a desk can have a detrimental effect on physical and mental health. That is why our doctors here at Vaughan Chiropractic are concerned about ergonomics in the workplace. They just presented last week a Health Talk on this topic to over 60 employees at CIBC.
What is ergonomics? Simply put, it is the science of equipment designs as it applies to operator fatigue and discomfort. In order to avoid the effects of poor ergonomic designs in the workplace, here are some tips that you can take with you both at home and in the workplace.
- If you are sitting for long periods at a time, choose an adjustable chair with adequate back support. You may also want to talk with the doctor about adding an additional lumbar-support pillow.
- Position your chair so that your knees face forward at 90-degree angles and your feet are flat on the floor. This may require you to lower the seat portion of your chair or add a footrest.
- Monitoring you monitor by sitting at least one arm’s length from the computer screen and adjusting the terminal so that the top of the screen is at a 90-degree angle to eye level will decrease chances of neck strain and subluxation.
- Opt for a light-weight headset or a speaker phone. One of the worst things you can do to your cervical vertebrae is wedge a telephone receiver between your shoulder and your jaw.
- If your mouse isn’t built into your keyboard, place it as conveniently as possible to minimize arm and wrist movement. Never place a mouse at a different level than the keyboard.
- If getting a new slanted keyboard isn’t an option, periodically release the tension in your shoulders and allow your arms to relax comfortably. You can also “float” your hands slightly above the keyboard while typing, rather than resting your wrists on a desk or wrist pad.
- On-the-job stretch breaks are strongly encouraged by your doctors here at Vaughan Chiropractic. Stretching elongates and opens up the flexed forward spine, allowing better nerve flow and allows for fuller breathing. Taking “time out” also provides your eyes – and your mind – with needed rest, averting visual strain and reducing emotional stress.
Check in with Dr Gus to see what additional steps you can take to improve your workplace ergonomically. You can even invite the doctors to your workplace to provide a Health Talk on ergonomics, just contact Dr Jacqui at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.