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Author Archives: Flor
Posture – it’s one of those things that we’ve all heard about, but a surprising many know little of. However, for all that it can be difficult to define without heading to your nearest dictionary, it’s an incredibly important consideration in the workplace, particularly for office workers. Good posture helps prevent the development of serious musculoskeletal disorders, prevents muscle strain and more. What should you know about correct posture, though? Read on to learn more.
One of the most important elements of good posture is spine support. When sitting down, your natural inclination is probably to lean forward and rest your weight on the arms of the chair. That’s wrong, and it will lead to serious lower back pain, as well as strain on the muscles and tendons in the arms (especially if you do that while trying to type).
The right type of spinal support is important. The best option is to invest in a quality office chair with a good back (featuring plenty of lumbar support) that follows the natural curvature of the spine. Make sure your feet sit flat on the floor and don’t hang. You should also have maximum contact between your back and the back of the chair without it affecting your ability to type. If your chair has armrests, they should be positioned so that your arms are even with the top of the desk and there’s no shoulder strain present.
Even if your chair has a built-in headrest, chances are good it’s not going to be used unless you’re leaning back (you’re inactive). That means it’s important you practice good neck posture. Ideally, your neck will be in a neutral position (not forcing it forward, back or to the side). The computer monitor should be just below eye level, so you can look at it while maintaining the right position. Your monitor should also be at least 20 inches from your face (a maximum of about 36 inches).
Position everything in your work area so that you can reach it or see it without having to turn your head. This will help you keep your neck in the proper position and avoid straining muscles.
The Importance of a Quality Office Chair
Part of good posture is having the right support for your body throughout the day. In an office environment, that means having a quality office chair. While good chairs do come with a cost, they’re actually more affordable than what you might think, and they’re certainly cheaper than trying to deal with the consequences of carpal tunnel syndrome or chronic lower back pain. A good chair will help support you throughout the day, and should be a “no-brainer” for any office worker (or office manager buying furniture).
With the information above, it should be easier to understand good posture and put it into effect in your daily life. Invest in a good office chair and protect yourself from serious musculoskeletal disorders.
It's the number one complaint from our customers.
What many people don't realize is that a lot of the time your office chair is contributing to the back pain, and you should probably look into getting a chair better suited for your needs.
If you're not on the market for a new office chair, Performance Based Ergonomics has put together a video showcasing a few stretches to relieve some of your lower back pain while at your desk.
Try some of these stretches out and remember to come back to Sitbetter.com when you're ready to invest on a new chair.
Read the entire story here.
Ergonomics – it’s become an immensely important consideration for both individuals and employers. Even UCLA has started offering ergonomics guides and information for students, teachers and others. Whether you’re an office worker or an employer, it’s important that you understand the key concepts in workplace ergonomics in order to prevent injury, maximize productivity and reduce ergonomic injury-related lost time from the job.
Reducing Strain and Stress on Key Body Parts
The entire point of ergonomics is to position office equipment and to support the body in such a way that it reduces strain on key body parts. These include the following:
- Upper and lower back
- Thighs and legs
Key Ergonomic-Related Injuries
33% of all workplace injuries involve musculoskeletal injuries generally caused by poor workplace ergonomics. These injuries cause a significant amount of lost time at work, which impacts both the employer and the employee. Some of the conditions caused by not implementing the correct ergonomic plan can include carpal tunnel, eye strain/headaches, tendinopathy, bursitis and many others.
Key Concepts to Understand
There are several different concepts at play in workplace ergonomics, including posture, correct workstation setup and more. These include the following:
- Neutral Neck Position – Your workstation, desk and office chair should allow you to maintain a neutral neck position. A computer monitor should be at least 20 inches away from your body, and it should be directly in front of and slightly below your eye level.
- Spine Support – Sitting for long hours puts serious stress on your spine and back/shoulder muscles. To correctly support your spine, you need to sit with your feet flat on the floor, and you should have an office chair that provides good lumbar support (either adjustable or with extra padding in the lumbar region). Armrests should be included with the office chair, and they should be adjustable to eliminate shoulder strain.
- Arm and Hand Positioning – The position you’re forced to hold your arms and hands in when seated at your computer can put additional strain on your body. When seated and using the keyboard, your elbows should be at 100 to 110 degrees (open). The keyboard should have a negative tilt so you can keep a neutral position in your hands and wrists. Keyboard trays should be wide enough for both the keyboard and the mouse, so you can use them without raising your arm to another position.
Breaks, Stretching and Exercising
It might sound counterintuitive, but office workers should engage in regular stretching and exercising while on the job. This helps to eliminate stress and strain, and enhances blood flow, which can increase comfort as well as productivity. Regular breaks are also important to help prevent workplace injuries.
- For every 20 minutes of typing, you should take a 20-second break
- For every 20 minutes of typing, you should look away and focus on the middle distance for 20 seconds
- Every hour, you should get up and walk around the office or take a stroll to the break room
- Every hour, stretch your legs, arms, shoulders and wrists to enhance blood flow
These tips and key concepts will help enhance workplace productivity, but also reduce the chance of injury for office workers
The modern world has changed significantly in the past few decades. We’ve gone from having a mostly active lifestyle to a sedentary one. Even those who work out of the home spend the majority of their time sitting down. According to OSHA, 33% of all workplace accidents in 2011 were due to musculoskeletal problems stemming from poor ergonomics, and if you have a home office, that applies to you. Your office chair is the first line of defense against these dangerous health problems. How do you choose a good home office chair?
Pony Up the Cash
If you’ve taken a look at ergonomic office chairs recently, you know they’re not cheap. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality chair. With that being said, you can’t really get a bargain-basement chair and expect it to hold up. You get what you pay for in many cases. Be prepared to pay a little more for a decent chair (say, up to about $300).
Adjustability Is Paramount
The number one rule of ergonomics is that one size does not fit all. The more adjustments a home office chair features, the better it will be for you. Look for a chair with adjustable height and tilt so you can adjust it to fit your body perfectly. You should also look for models with adjustable armrests as well, particularly if you spend a good deal of your day typing at the keyboard. Adjustability is paramount – you must ensure that the chair you purchase can come as close as possible to a tailor-made position for your specific frame, height and weight.
As a note, the chair’s height adjustment should provide enough travel that you can leave your feet flat on the floor. If your feet are angled so your toes touch the floor but not your heels, or if they’re dangling in midair, you’ve got the wrong chair.
Comfort is an important consideration when buying a home office chair. Avoid thinly padded chairs and those without padding on the armrests. Mesh chairs are something of a different beast – the mesh features natural give to provide almost the same comfort as thick padding. In a padded chair, look for a model that features memory foam so it will mold to your body’s contours rather than flattening out across the entire seat through use.
There are two forms of lumbar support in the office chair world – thicker padding in the lumbar region and adjustable lumbar support (usually via a lever on the side of the chair’s back). Both can work well, but you’ll get better results out of a chair with adjustable lumbar support. Usually, extra padding will wear down and reduce the amount of support offered, even with a high quality chair. If possible, opt for a lumbar adjustable model.
With the right home office chair, you can ensure that you protect yourself from dangerous musculoskeletal injury, enhance your comfort and even work longer if necessary.
If you are overweight or obese, it is important to get healthy quickly. In workplaces across the United States, many billions of dollars are lost every year in revenue as workplaces need to compensate for sick leave.
While accidents do happen, many illnesses are easily avoidable. Especially when it comes to some musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis or RSI, they can arise through constant, daily discomfort in the workplace in a bad sitting position.
Getting the Right Seat
It is every worker’s responsibility to make sure that the seat they are working in is comfortable for their needs. While you will almost certainly start your workplace with a computer, a chair, a table and some other furniture, you should set up and customize your workspace so that it is comfortable for you.
Bad posture can also lead to problems with health in the workplace and if sitting in bad posture for years, various injuries can come up. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by excessive or unsafe use of a computer. The constant clicking action of fingers, wrists and typing can cause a nerve in the arm to begin swelling and causing pain.
Carpal tunnel can be very debilitating and painful, and is one of the chief causes of injuries and accidents in the workplace.
Sitting at the Right Distance and Angle
Setting up your seat so that you are at the right angle and distance from your monitor is also important. You need to be about 25” away (about an arm’s length or more) from your screen. This is also important for optical health. Every few minutes, look away from your monitor and fix your gaze on something else in the room or outside. This helps to flush the tear ducts in your eyes and readjust your vision.
The keyboard and mouse should be on the same flat surface. Your hands should be at 90 degrees to the table and be resting on the desk or on a keyboard rest. Feet should be flat on the floor to facilitate correct blood flow to every part of the body.
Coping with Seated Work
In some situations, you have no choice but to do seated work in an office for many hours at a time. This is where some coping strategies can come into place. These will allow you to preserve your health longer as well.
1) Every half an hour at least, you should take a short walk somewhere in the building. The bathroom, the kitchen, a vending machine, a brief walk outside. Some employers may not allow this too frequently so find out what is acceptable.
2) Ask your manager for a shared couch or resting area near a workplace. Workers can take short breaks there to read or they can have quiet discussions.
3) Stand up and walk around the room a few times every hour to move the blood a bit where it is needed.