6 Tips to Reduce Workstation Aches and Pains

As we celebrate our 100th year in business in 2015, we embark on another century of commitment to our policyholders. Our mission is to protect the livelihoods of our policyholders, and, as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In keeping with that theme, we’ll celebrate our 100th year in business with 100 important tips to help identify, evaluate and prevent dangers that could result in financial loss or injury in a year-long “Safe with Society” blog series.

Computers have made us a more productive workforce, but employees who sit or stand all day in front of a computer workstation may suffer from aches and pains caused by poor body mechanics. Poor posture causes muscles to work harder when they are held in prolonged positions, such as sitting at a desk all day or standing in one position for several hours at a time. When poor body mechanics are matched with an incorrect workstation set-up (i.e. equipment that is too high or too low) aches and pains can be the result.

In most situations, these six simple adjustments to the workstation can reduce or eliminate the stressful position:

  1. Use a chair with an adjustable backrest and armrests. The chair height should be easy to adjust, too. When seated properly, your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Use an inclined (2″) footrest. This will reduce static pressure on the back of the legs while seated.
  3. The keyboard should be adjustable for height and angle. Move the keyboard forward, back, up, or down to meet your hands (keeping your elbows at 90 degrees).
  4. You should consciously attempt to maintain correct posture. Sit up straight in your chair and allow your neck and shoulders to relax. Adjust the backrest on the chair to support your lower back.
  5. Make sure you have adequate clearance for your legs under the desk.
  6. Adjust the screen height to eye level, then angle up to avoid glare. When you look at the screen, your head should be relaxed. From this position your eyes will easily scan the top half of the screen without having to lower your chin or crane your neck.

Click here for a helpful handout on workstation design to share with your employees.

Our risk control team is available to help facilitate your safety and health efforts. Learn more about this collaborative and consultative partnership, as well as the exclusive safety resources developed to keep your workplace safe and profitable.

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