Work can be a pain in the neck. But for many of us, our workstations are actually causing real pain and other possible problems. Depending on your job, the constraints of your equipment, and the symptoms you may be experiencing, reconfiguring your workstation can result in significant improvements in how you feel, today and in the future.
Workplace ergonomics improves well-being and performance by optimizing the interaction between postural positioning and the work environment to minimize unnecessary work and reduce the forces acting on your body. The following are helpful tips from the Association of Canadian Ergonomists to help prevent or reduce postural-related injuries, specifically in the neck, shoulders, lower back and hips.
Tips for working ergonomically
- Place the top of the monitor no higher than eye level.
- Place the keyboard and monitor directly in front of you.
- Do not lean forward to view the monitor.
- Position your mouse at the same level as and as close as possible to the keyboard.
- Place the mouse left of the keyboard and use your left hand, reducing reaching.
- Ensure upper arms are relaxed at sides.
- Fully support your feet on the floor or a footrest.
- Ensure knees are level with or slightly below hip joint.
- When your fingers are on the home row keys, your hand, wrist and forearm should be in a straight line.
- Make a conscious effort to bring your head back and over your shoulders throughout the day.
- Change position frequently, taking a 30-second micro-break for every 15 minutes of work and getting up at least once each hour to move around.
- Stretch your neck, shoulders, chest, back, hips and hamstrings often.