10 Ways to Improve Your Workplace Ergonomics

Sitting at a desk right now? Take note of your body position.

You may be comfortable, but the truth is, many of our desk sitting habits can actually have long-term health implications (not to mention cause energy slumps and back pain).

Ergonomics — or the science of designing the workplace — has become a popular topic over the past few years. According to the US Department of Labor, “ergonomics is the science of designing the job to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker’s body to fit the job.”

Luckily there are some very simple adjustments you can make right now to create a safer your desk-life— and maybe even give your productivity a boost!

Here are 10 ways to create a healthy, productive, and ergonomic working environment courtesy of Roberto Molina, DPT, St. Catherine’s Rehabilitation Hospital:

  • Use a lumbar roll for your chair to release back tension and load.
  • Use a chair that can change in height and adjust the height level throughout the day.
  • Take a break from electronic devices and look around the room every 30 minutes to prevent eye strain.

  • Keep digital screens and reading material at eye level.
  • Take stretch breaks to keep circulation flowing to tissues every hour.
  • Beware of neck bending and shoulder slouching that occurs with using electronic devices at work for long periods of time.
  • Keep moving. It does not matter if you have “good” posture, mobility is key in the workplace to maintain joint flexibility and circulation to the tissues.

  • Use a headset, and avoid using the phone between your neck and shoulder.
  • If while working, your body begins to hurt, change your position. You should always work pain-free.
  • Use safe body mechanics when lifting objects and moving equipment.

 Is your workstation ergonomics-friendly? What can you change to make it more ergonomically sound?

Catholic Health Services is committed to sharing knowledge with the goal to improve the health and wellness of our patients, residents, staff, and community. Want more tips like these? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

For information about our rehabilitation services, please visit us at www.CatholicHealthServices.org

Information provided by Roberto Molina, PT, DPT, Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist at St. Catherine's Rehabilitation Hospital in North Miami, Florida. 

References
1. Boocock MG, McNair PJ, Larmer PJ, et al Interventions for the prevention and management of neck/upper extremity musculoskeletal conditions: a systematic review Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2007;64:291-303
2. Holte K, Westgaard R. Daytime trapezius muscle activity and shoulder-neck pain of service workers with work stress and low biomechanical exposure. Amer Jour of Industrial Med. 2002; 41. 393-405.
3. Herbert, Lauren A. Taking Care of Yourself: Be Your Own Therapist. Neck Pain, Head Ache, TMJ. Www.smartcarept.com, 2017.

 

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