How office workers sit can make a big impact on their health. Many workers don’t notice bad posture and strained positioning, because it gradually builds into a problem over time — kind of like the proverbial frog in the kettle.
Here are a few guidelines for office ergonomics that will help reduce rates of carpal tunnel, neck injuries, and other problems.
- Posture — The body should be centered in front of the monitor and keyboard. Workers should sit up straight, keeping thighs horizontal with knees.
- Chair — Feet should rest comfortably on the floor and knees should be level with hips. Chairs should offer lumbar support.
- Monitor Height — The monitor should be directly in front of the worker, not to the side. It should be an arm’s length away from the face. The top of the screen should be slightly below eye level, and light should come from the side, not creating a glare.
- Mouse Position — Wrists should be in a natural and comfortable position when workers are using a mouse.
- Wrist Position While Typing — While typing, workers should keep wrists in a straight, natural position.
- Wrist Rest — Provide wrist rests to minimize stress on workers’ wrists. While typing, workers should hold hands and wrists above the wrist rest. While resting, the heels or palms of the hands (not the wrists) should be on the wrist rest.
- Headsets — Workers should use a headset rather than cradling a phone between the head and neck.
- Footrests — Footrests should be provided so workers can rest their feet flat..
Full ergonomic guidelines can be found on OSHA’s checklist, a convenient tool that companies can provide to workers.
Photo credit: Atlantic Business Interiors