Author: Jason Monroe.
Work may be a fact of life for the majority of us, but there is no reason that anyone needs to be uncomfortable while at work. People in careers such as internet marketing, who spend such a large portion of their days at the computer, can be particularly at risk for certain types of muscle pain and strains. There are some ways for workers to make their offices more ergonomically friendly.
Office Ergonomics Tips:Watch Your Back!
- Reduce Glare on your monitor. It is hard to even watch TV or drive with glare or reflections, let alone trying to work accurately or be creative. Glare can contribute to eye strain and fatigue. This can cause severe headaches in addition to other issues. Glare can be reduced by getting a window film, using an anti-glare screen, covering windows, using proper lighting, and if you wear glasses have and anti-reflective coating put on them. Another way to reduce glare is to switch from an older monitor to a new flat LCD screen it is easier on the eyes.
- Adjust the color temperature, brightness, text size, and contrast to facilitate easy reading and viewing. Warmer hues, such as red and yellow actually contribute to less eye strain than cooler hues. Your computer is not a light. Adjust the brightness of your display so that is roughly the same as the surroundings, this may mean you need to add some lights if you work late into the evening.
- Make sure the monitor is at the right level. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. You should not have to bend your neck up or down to look at the screen.
- Invest in a chair that works for you as an individual and is adjustable. If the chair fits you as a person that is great, but you need to be able to change position in the chair also. Most people do not sit in exactly the same position all day every day, some adjustments may be necessary.
- Sit up straight! Your grandmother and teachers were on to something when they would insist that you not slouch. Slouching may feel good at the time, but it actually causes muscle fatigue and strain. You could have the best ergonomic chair on the market but if you do not use it properly it will do absolutely no good and you will still need back pain treatment. Adjust the arm rests on the chair so they are close to your body. This will discourage leaning to one side which is a classic indicator of poor posture.
- Go hands free. If you have to be on the phone for a long time, use a headset or speaker phone. Cradling the phone between your neck and shoulder is one sure way to get a pain in the neck. This will also allow your hands to be free to type or take notes when talking to clients or co-workers. Make sure you can reach your phone from your chair without twisting or reaching. Also, keep a pad of paper and pen near the phone, also accessible without reaching so that messages and notes can be taken promptly without searching for items.
- Use a split keyboard or one in a wave shape. Split keyboards are great- but they can be too big for people with smaller hands. In this case a wave shaped keyboard is a better choice. The keyboard should be positioned so that you can keep your wrists straight when typing. Do not use a wrist rest while typing. This will contribute to strain and joint inflammation. Use it when taking a break from typing- you never know when a genius idea will hit.
- Keep items that you use often in easy reach from your primary work area. If you use it many times per day, make sure you can get to it without excessive reaching. This includes phones, computers, and paper.
- Monitor the intake of your vitamins and minerals. Perform a blood test once every few months to check for nutritional deficiencies. Especially look for vitamin D and B12 – two nutrients that are commonly missing from a western diet – due to toxins, lack of sun, etc. This may lead to an overall systematic inflammation. Get more sun and maybe even get a B12 supplement if you’re deficient.
These 8 basic tips for ergonomics in the office will make a workstation more ergonomically friendly and thus more efficient and productive. If you can focus more on the work you are doing and less on the nagging ache in your shoulders and neck, you will be able to accomplish more in less time, and what you do accomplish will likely be of better quality. In a field where innovation and creativity are crucial, like internet marketing, staying fresh is vital. This is much easier to do when you can concentrate on the tasks at hand instead of pain.
Author: Jason Monroe, a freelance writer with 9 years of experience delivering well researched and well written articles to his clients. I’m currently working on a series of articles discussing back pain and the importance developing an ergonomically friendly work place with the assistance of a group of chiropractors in West Bend, WI.