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Workstation set up can be tricky. Learn what to set up and where, how to minimise the impact of sitting all day and avoid pain.

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Workstation ergonomics

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Workstation Ergonomics

With the advancement of technology the population is increasingly working from behind a desk and on a computer. For 8 hours a day people are stuck in the same position with their bodies adapting and settling into that position.

This can lead to a number of common musculoskeletal aches and pains including:

 

These types of conditions are often the result of:

  • Poor work posture
  • Prolonged immobility 
  • Repetitive work tasks 
  • Stress 

 

Left un-managed, these types of behaviours can lead to major musculoskeletal injuries, that will not only inhibit your productivity at work, but limit what you can do and achieve outside of the workplace. 

 

Never fear, there are ways to combat all this doom and gloom! Here are some tips to best improve workers comfort, productivity and prevent injury at their work station:

 

  • Have an expert set up the workstation. Both desks in the workplace and in the home office. It’s best to review the workstation at induction, when workers change desks or get new equipment, following a return from extended leave, during pregnancy, or when currently experiencing aches and pains.
  • Encourage staff to take more regular short breaks. 
  • Create an office environment that encourages more movement. Only have a central bin or recycling station rather than at each desk, do walking or stand up meetings, and implement the use of standing desks.
  • Identify stresses associated with work, and talk out strategies to deal with them with colleagues or professionals.
  • Involve yourself in activities outside of the workplace, such as exercise and socialising. 

 

Some common tips and tricks for setting up your workstation include:

  • If you have a regular chair, sit on a cushion and have another cushion behind your back.
  • Try to raise the screen so that the top of the screen is at your eye level, avoiding neck flexion. Try using a stack of books!
  • Your screen should be arms distance in front of you
  • If you can, adjust the seat height so that your forearms are just above the desk height when in typing position. 
  •  If your feet don’t touch the ground you need a footrest.
  • If working from a laptop, use an external keyboard where possible. 
  • Wrists in neutral position not elevated for mouse and keyboard use. 
  • Take a break out of your chair, every 30 minutes for 1-2 minutes. Stand up, move your arms and legs then sit back down.
  • Perform non computer based tasks standing. E.g. phone calls. 
  • If you have a new standing desk, start with 15 minutes intervals of standing every hour to build tolerance. The height of the desk should be just below your elbows. 

 

For a full workplace ergonomic assessment, contact one of our team members at Wellness Osteo, who are experts in setting up those tricky office chairs, desk positioning, multiple screens positioning and optimal keyboard, mouse and screen use. In addition to reviewing your ergonomic workstation, Wellness Osteo provides osteopathic treatments where we use hands on therapy to help alleviate symptoms and then tailor specific strength and conditioning rehabilitation programs to make sure your condition doesn’t return. 

 

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