Workstation ergonomics

Krystn Nickolaus

Is your workstation optimal for your body? Risk factors, Quick tips and Resources.

Majority of our jobs require us to work in static postures for 6+ hours/day, 30+ hours/week. The variety of risk factors that come with a static occupation pose a threat to our mind and body on a daily basis. Ergonomic assessments have become a crucial tool in our workplace environment, but what about at home? The “Work from Home” climate has made workstation ergonomics increasingly difficult to abide by. Below are some items to consider adjusting to create that happy work-life balance we all need and crave.

Important factors to consider when creating healthy workplace:

  1. Person

    1. What’s your general posture? Do you counter that with regular exercise?

    2. Are you doing anything to counter work/life stress?

    3. Do you have visual strain?

  2. Environment

    1. Desk/Chair supportive or adjustable?

    2. Monitor/ Keyboard positioned correctly?

    3. Is there adequate lighting with limited glare?

    4. Are there excessive noise & distractions?

  3. Occupations

    1. Are these excessive job demands or productivity standards?

    2. Are you getting adequate sleep?

    3. Maintaining a healthy diet?

    4. Multiple role strain - Are you a parent, spouse, caretaker on top of employee?

  4. Risk Factors

    1. Do you sit or work in awkward or static postures?

    2. Is there excessive force production required for certain, repetitive tasks?

    3. Are there excessive contact stress points in your work station?

Assess the “Big 3”:

  1. Seating

    1. Is chair or table height adjustable?

    2. Do you have Sit to Stand desk? If so, are you following the 20-8-2 rule? Do you use a step stool when standing?

    3. Assess from bottom-up: Feet flat on ground for stable base. Knees and hips at 90 degrees. Lumbar curvature support. Desk height allows for elbows to be in working range of 90-100 degrees flexion.

  2. Workstation (monitor, mouse, keyboard)

    1. Monitor: Top of monitor at eye level. Monitor ~ arm’s length away with no visual strain. Monitors centered best as possible and if dual screens do not get into habit of favouring one screen.

    2. Mouse: Neutral wrist (not too much wrist extension or pronation). Trial different styles. Use of mouse pad with wrist gel support. Take jewellery/watch off.

    3. Keyboard: Neutral wrist (not too much wrist extension). Remove the keyboard legs.

  3. Work zone

    1. Primary – Constantly used items should be reached with elbows bent.

    2. Secondary – Frequently used items should be reached with extended.

    3. Tertiary – Rarely used items placed further away requiring standing or bending

 

Our physiotherapists at Synergy are equipped to help you work through these key points and optimize the adjustments for your body and condition. If you’re having trouble with adjusting your workstation, relieving that never-ending muscle tension, or want some help countering that on-going posture – we are here to help!

Our staff are also happy to supply you with a Letter of Support to your employer for an on-site Ergonomics Assessment and/or recommendation for a Sit to stand desk.

Below are some more resources for you to explore.

https://www.osha.gov/etools/computer-workstations

If you would like to make an appointment, click here to make an online booking, or call (07) 3211 8775 to speak with our friendly reception staff.