Monday, August 16, 2010

Top 5 Bad {Ergonomic} Habits at Work

Workers often build up bad habits in the office and at their desks they aren't even aware of. I don't think I can sum up all bad habits in one post, but I can tell you the top 5 bad ergo habits that put undue strain on an already stressed body.

Top 5 Bad {Ergonomic} Habits at Work

1. Cluttered desk.
  • Problem: Besides poor aesthetic appeal, a cluttered desk keeps important items out of reach and your back, shoulders, and arms pay the price when you strain for them.
  • Solution: Tidy it up, and get organized. Pitch unnecessary trash and take home your knick knacks, especially if you have limited space. Re-organize your desk top so that all key items are in an easy arm's reach.
2. Poor keyboard/mouse alignment.
  • Problem: Most people put too much space between their keyboard and their mouse, and some even place them on different surfaces.
  • Solution: Tuck you mouse in right next to your keyboard and definitely keep them on the same surface. If space is an issue, consider a mini keyboard for a smaller footprint.
3. Low monitor height.
  • Problem: The typical worker keeps his monitor on his desk, which requires him to bend his neck to look down to actually see it. This can lead to headaches and neck pain.
  • Solution: Raise your monitor. You can invest in a desktop lift like Hercules, or you can raise it inexpensively with rysers. Another way to keep from straining your neck is to use a document holder. It's so much nicer to have your notes right in front of you while you type from them.
4. Too few ergonomic breaks.
  • Problem: Usually break time means a trip to the bathroom and a little chit chat with coworkers over a marginal cup of coffee. These are not bad ways to spend your breaks, but there are other, more strategic ways to take smaller breaks.
  • Solution: Enjoy your coffee and empty your bladder, but you also need to take periodic breaks at your desk to stretch and to rest your eyes. To avoid eye strain, take time every day, every few hours, or more often, to blink your eyes so they can rest and re-moisturize. Also, as you're working, take your eyes off your screen and focus on something farther away to allow your eyes to recalibrate and focus.
5. Too few ergonomic adjustments.
  • Problem: The typical worker usually does not make enough ergonomic adjustments to make his work station and environment conducive to better focus. She also loses 2 hours of productivity every day due to distractions.
  • Solution: Adjust your desk and chair if possible so that you fit under the desk comfortably with your feet flat on the floor and your elbows and forearms rest comfortably to type without any awkward bending or cocking. Additionally, try some white noise, like this free generator, for noise control.
Here's to you not making these same ergonomic mistakes in the office! {It's up to you to figure out the social stuff...good luck.}


Bernice said...

Oh, this is very interesting. I didn't know that I was practicing bad habits at work. It's probably why I have constant muscle strain, shoulder and back pains. I've even visited a family chiropractic Brooklyn Park, MN center one time. It turned out to be a very relaxing and soothing experience for me. The chiropractor (Brooklyn Park, MN) was really good and he was able to release the tension and strain in my muscles. But from now on, I will follow these solutions to prevent muscles strains.

kannan natarajan said...

Great Information , I just wanna learn a lot about the Ergonomics , I just wonder to read your all the Posts . We are Occupational health and safety professionals assists the companies by providing the Occupational health and safety training including ergonomics. Thanks for the Nice Information . Understanding the ergonimics is Really essential today .