Most people in a traditional office environment spend between 8 and 10 hours a day in front of a computer screen. Sitting in one position for most of the day can lead to a variety of health issues that can cause problems today and in the future. Luckily, the study of ergonomics has lead to the increase in beneficial designs that make computer use less harmful to the body.
Common ergonomics issues
Most people that perform a large amount of computer work each day face the same health issues. One of the main issues is the rounding of the spine and shoulders while working at a computer. The hunched position places strain on the neck and shoulders, and can also cause circulatory issues. Another common issue is wrist pain and carpel tunnel. This is caused by overextending the wrists when typing and using computer equipment. Holding the arms forward to type can also cause excessive strain on the shoulders and arms. Without proper support, this can lead to RSI or frozen shoulder and can cause back and shoulder pain on a regular basis.
Simple ways to prevent computer-related health problems
Although heavy computer use can lead to a variety of health problems, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent or deter the damage from occurring- even if you do not have ergonomic computer designs. Getting up and moving around once an hour or so can stretch out the spine and neck, counteracting some of the strain on the body. Sitting upright rather than hunched over can help prevent neck and shoulder strain. Simply position the computer screen to be visible when sitting upright. Daily exercise when not at work can help strengthen the muscles and help you avoid muscle strain. Keep a sense of relaxation while at work to prevent over-correcting the issues. It is better to remain flexible and flowing than tight and tense throughout the day.
You can also use a variety of ergonomic supports throughout the day to support your body, such as wrist cushions, positioning your seat for good posture, keeping your screen at natural eye level, and using ergonomic cushions to encourage good posture.
Providing ergonomic computers as a business owner
If you are in charge of purchasing office equipment, there are additional steps you can take to improve the health of employees. Switch out traditional keyboards and desks for ergonomic versions. These versions of office equipment provide the ideal support for heavy computer use. Make sure all seating provides effective back support and promotes good posture. Remove broken office equipment from the office to prevent employees from injuries. Supply all employees with wrist cushions and other support products that can help alleviate some of the pressure and strain from heavy computer use.
Ergonomics is extremely important in office settings to prevent serious problems from occurring. Poor posture and constant computer use can lead to a variety of other health problems that are costly and dangerous. Simply by applying basic ergonomics support an office can greatly reduce the amount of work-related injuries in the office and encourage employees in a life of overall health.