Feel Better Every Day {in 5 Easy Steps}

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ergonomic assessments can help you work and feel better.

Kate Berry shared her top five tips to help you feel better, while you get your work done.

  1. What has your workstation done for you lately?  Adjust your workstation to help avoid repetitive strain injuries (ouch!). Position your keyboard height to allow your wrists to rest in a straight or neutral position with your elbows close to your sides to avoid excessive reaching for your keyboard.
  2. Check your Chair: Chairs are adjustable, but are often untouched by their owners. When set too high or low, you can place strain on your hips, knees, back – and even your shoulders. Adjust your chair to create a 90 degree (or greater) angle at your hips to promote a nice position through your low back. Your feet should be touching the floor or a footrest. And remember to sit back in your chair and use that backrest!
  3. Keep Moving: Change your position every 20 to 30 minutes, even if it’s just for a short while. Develop a work routine that includes varied positions. For example: stand up during a phone call.
  4. Save your sight: Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Your computer monitor should be a minimum of one arm’s length away with your line of sight 2-3″ from the top of the screen (if you wear bifocals, the rule is different because you look through the bottom of your lenses. Adjust accordingly). Set up your monitor to avoid glare from windows.
  5. Don’t kill the mouse! Avoid griping your mouse too firmly, or holding onto it for too long, like when you’re reading. And make sure you don’t have to reach too far for your mouse. You should be able to access your mouse easily with your elbows at your sides. Get creative {and be brave} to find solutions. If you have a standard keyboard the number pad can make it hard to find the proper mouse position. Try mousing with your left hand, get a left handed keyboard (numbers are on the left), or a smaller (compact) keyboard, allowing the mouse to be closer to you.

There are lots more ways to maximize your comfort, ensure your long-term health, and be productive. Kate, or one of our other Occupational Therapists, would be happy to help you modify your workstation and complete an ergonomic assessment to suit your body’s needs.

Please contact us today to find out more.