Sitting at a chair with spring loaded casters and working at a desk all day might not seem particularly strenuous. However, sitting for hours at a time in the same position can take its toll on your body, especially if it’s a position that is unnatural. To avoid injury from prolonged working at a desk, you need to improve your ergonomics. Here are some suggestions for better ergonomics for office work.
- Keep Key Objects Within Reach
Key objects include those that you use frequently, such as your stapler or your telephone. The work you do may determine which objects are key, but whatever you need most, keep it close to you so you don’t have to strain yourself by reaching for it.
- Don’t Cradle the Phone Between Your Head and Shoulder
When you cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder, it puts a strain on your neck. You may get away with it every once in a while, but if you spend most of the day talking on the phone in this position, it can really take its toll. If you have to have your hands free while talking on the phone, use a headset or put the phone on speaker instead. Each of these is a better option than those old-school headrests that used to be in frequent use. While the headrests may make the position more comfortable in the short term, problems can still arise in the long run.
- Rest Your Feet Flat on the Floor
Your desk and chair may be too high to allow you to do this comfortably. If so, you should use a footrest underneath your desk. Make sure this is low enough that it allows ample room for your knees but high enough that you do not need to strain the muscles of your legs to reach.
Be sure that you pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you have pain from certain work activities, talk to your supervisor about possible modifications.