Work-related injuries are not limited to physically demanding job duties, slips and falls. Relatively passive activities, such as prolonged static positions at computer workstations, can progress into varying levels of debilitating conditions.
Workers can avoid issues such as headaches, tired eyes, sore back and carpel tunnel syndrome by following some basic ergonomic guidelines designed to minimize stress on the body.
According to a National Public Radio poll, more than two-thirds of working Americans use a computer at work, and 84 percent of them report that computer use is essential for doing their job. That is a lot of workers who are potentially at risk.
Neutral body positioning is a key factor to creating a safe computer workstation. This refers to a comfortable working posture in which all of the body’s joints naturally align, avoiding any positions that require twisting, stooping or reaching. A neutral position minimizes strain on muscles, tendons and the skeletal system.
Safe computer workstation considerations include:
- Posture – Head, neck and trunk positions aligned with the screen
- Seating – Appropriate height, depth, tilt and lumbar support
- Keyboard/mouse position – No reaching
- Monitor – At eye level, directly in front of you
- General work area – Sufficient space for arms, legs and feet
- Accessories – Wrist rest, telephone, document holder
See the accompanying checklist for tips on creating an ergonomically safe workstation.
To schedule a Saint Francis Medical Center certified ergonomic assessment specialist to assess your workplace at no charge, call Jason Bandermann, MBA, referral services manager, at 573-331-5825.