Recent statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety reveal that 11,500 U.S. workers suffer non-fatal, work-related injuries and illnesses each day. Approximately half of these incidents require time away from work, a job transfer or work restrictions.
“A lot of workplace injuries can be avoided if people take the time to plan their movements,” says Jay Goodman, PT, SCS, with WakeMed Outpatient Rehab – Alexander Family YMCA. Knowing the correct posture to assume when seated at a computer, using the correct lifting techniques and stopping to think about your movements and position several times a day can help you stay injury-free. Goodman offers computer users the following tips to avoid workplace injury.
Chair and feet – Sit in a comfortable chair with both feet on the floor.
Lumbar support – Many office chairs have built-in lumbar support. If your chair does not, simply fold a bath towel into a 12” x 12” square and place it between your lower back and your chair back.
Straight plane – Your computer screen should be eye level, and your hands should be parallel to your keyboard.
Phone – Your phone should also be located straight ahead of you so that you do not have to twist to reach it. Use a headset if you are on the phone a lot or have neck problems.
Mouse – Your mouse should be close to your dominant hand.
Laptops – Don’t use them in bed. Make sure you use them on a sturdy surface.
This article was included in the most recent edition of Reconnections, a publication for WakeMed Rehab, included all about ergonomics.