Is Your Work Causing You PAIN?   

Is Your Work Causing You PAIN?


Top Wellness Health shares handy tips on office ergonomics for our daily wellness.

In a time where the use of the Internet is second nature, it is not an exaggeration to say that in many instances, our computers have become extensions of us. The computer has become such a core fixture in our lives that we fail to realise the negative effects of prolonged computer usage. As such, it is important to examine the need for and application of workstation ergonomics to enhance our work performance as well as improve our overall well-being.

What is ergonomics? Ergonomics is the coordination of device designs, systems, and physical working conditions with the capacities and requirements of the worker. This means that your workstation should be arranged to fit your needs while you do your job. This may include re-arranging the equipment on your desk, such as the computer monitor, keyboard, mouse, telephone and chair; changing the lighting; or even adjusting the way you perform a task.

Many ailments that occur in the office are usually results of prolonged awkward positions like reaching or bending over, or repetitive movements. Illness and injuries can therefore occur due to the strain and stress we put on our muscles, nerves, joints, tendons and even spinal discs. Hence, it is important to have a well-set-up workstation in order to prevent and avoid repetitive strain injuries, like carpel tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, trigger finger, De Quervain's tenosynovitis, headaches, eyestrain, and neck and back pain that would be detrimental to you, your family and your employer.

In order to minimise workplace injury, be sure to evaluate your workstation, work processes and task variation. Working for long periods without taking rests in between can also increase the risk of injury. Some ways to improve your work environment include arranging your work so that you can sit in a comfortable position that does not put stress on any specific area of your body. You should not need to be turning your head to the sides or looking up past your eye level excessively.

Also, try to keep any workstation equipment within convenient reach so as to minimise the need to reach and bend over, thus putting Jess pressure on your spine and back muscles. Remember to vary your posture, and take breaks at regular intervals to reduce muscle tension and eye strain. Stretching and exercise have also been proved to be effective in preventing back and neck pain.

Naturally, the principles of ergonomics are not limited to the office. They may be applied when you perform similar tasks and activities at home. However, work plays such an important role in our lives that it is definitely worth taking some time to examine our work environment to determine if ergonomics can play a part in enhancing and optimising our work performance as well as physical health.

Poor Ergonomics
• Feet not flat on the floor
• Lower back not supported by back rest
• Outstretched elbows
• Over bending of wrists
• Shoulders tensed
• Head, neck and body twisted
• Top of screen far below eye level

Good Ergonomics
• Feet flat on floor or resting on foot rest
• Front of seat not pressing on back of knees
• Lower back supported by back rest
• Elbows close to body
• Wrist relaxed with minimal bending when typing/ keying/ using mouse
• Shoulders relaxed
• Head and body in midline
• Top of screen at or slightly below eye level
• Monitor approximately arm's length away


Happy reading,

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