Tips to Save Your Butt
Estimates suggest that musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain, arm strains and diseases of the joints cost Canadians upwards of $20 billion per year. Poor workplace ergonomics is a common cause of these disorders.
It turns out work really is a pain in the butt; as someone that spends a great deal of time sitting in front of a computer screen, I can attest. I came across some tips that may just save my butt – and perhaps help you out as well.
It’s estimated office workers in Canada spend over 36 hours each week at their workstations. Unfortunately, spending so much time at an improperly designed workstation can severely drain productivity, focus and even physical health. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, approximately 2 million Canadians suffer from repetitive strain injuries, and more than half of these injuries are caused by work-related activities.
Three of the most common causes of ergonomics-related injuries are:
- Improperly adjusted furniture and equipment
- A poorly organized or inappropriate workstation layout
- Prolonged awkward, twisted or static postures
However, office workstations are not solely responsible for the development of chronic aches and pains, since more and more Canadians are starting to work from home.
So, regardless of whether you are working at the office or from home, you need to ensure that your workstation is suitably organized.
To help you set up your workstation to avoid developing a musculoskeletal disorder, follow these seven tips:
- Sit close enough to your keyboard so that your shoulders, wrists and hands are relaxed.
- Sit up straight so that your back is firmly but comfortably against the chair back and your feet are flat on the floor.
- Position your monitor directly in front of you at eye level so that you do not have to twist or turn your neck.
- Aim your monitor away from any windows to reduce glare, which, over an extended period of time, could lead to sore eyes or headaches.
- Take three one- to two-minute breaks each hour to exercise your eyes by focusing on a distant object and then at an object nearby.
- Take frequent breaks throughout the day to stretch your wrists and fingers. Put your hands together, then spread your fingers out and “steeple” them—separating your palms but keeping your fingers together.
- Take a five-minute break each hour to stretch and relax your back, neck, arm and leg muscles. A walk around the office is a good way to do this