By Delia Treaster, Ph.D., CPE, BWC Ergonomic Technical Advisor
Have you ever noticed your wrists hurt after hours of working at the computer or your back hurts after standing all day at work? Over time, these daily discomforts can add up, leading to undue physical stress, chronic pain and even injury.
That’s why practicing proper workplace ergonomics is important, and there’s no better time than now. October is National Ergonomics Month – a month the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society has designated to recognize the relationship between humans and their work environment.
Ergonomics involves the practice of refining the design of products and workplaces to optimize them for humans.
Here are some tips, new moves and small changes to improve your workplace ergonomics.
Practice Neutral Posture
Neutral posture is the spine’s natural aligned position. It’s important to keep your spine in neutral position as much as possible to avoid pain and injury. A few helpful tips include:
- Keeping the top of your computer monitor at or slightly below eye height, so your head is level and not tilted up or down.
- Keeping your feet flat on the ground when you’re sitting in your chair.
- Using lumbar support in chairs to prevent low back pain.
Get Up and Move
Prolonged sitting can lead to back and neck pain and even long-term health problems. It’s a good idea to get up and move every 30 minutes during the day. Set a reminder if you have to and get up and move your body for a few minutes every half hour. This could mean taking a brisk walk or just standing and stretching. It will also help boost your energy and improve circulation.
Get into the habit of stretching throughout the day. Take quick breaks to touch your toes, stretch your arms, and reach upwards over your head. You’d be surprised how much better a little stretching can make you feel throughout the day.
For more tips to stay safe and healthy in your work environment, visit BeSafeOhio.com.