Posture at work
Did you know that in 2016, 30.8 million days were lost due to back pain, neck pain and upper limb problems and 15.8 millions days lost due to mental health issues. They are frightening statistics, but is there anything that can be done to lower these figures?
Many of us have heard about the importance of maintaining a good working posture, but what exactly does this mean? Good posture is very individual, as we come in all shapes and sizes, so our work environment must reflect this. Someone's desk set up will be very different to another, which is why everyone must be assessed individually. Humantech.com advise the following factors should be considered in a desk assessment and adjusted accordingly:
Chair – Should offer pneumatic seat-pan height adjustment, a backrest that tilts backward and forward, backrest tension control and lumbar
Adjustable workstation – Should offer height adjustability of work surface and have a large surface with ample room to perform tasks.
Keyboard – Should lie flat and offer slope adjustability to achieve up to ± 15° slope and have a low profile (approximately 1" or 30 mm).
Input device – Features should include a long cord for proper placement or wireless, should move easily and be usable by left- and right-handed users.
Monitor – Adjustable brightness and contrast, free from flicker and adjustable tilt.
Monitor arm/stand – Should be height-adjustable 27" (69 cm) to 34" (86 cm) above the seat pan and the weight of monitor should match the weight of the stand or arm.
Wrist rest – Should be constructed of compressible or soft material to reduce external pressure on the wrist and offer a non-friction surface.
Headset – Should be digital, rather than analog, and offer a quick-disconnect capability.
Foot rest – Needs to be height adjustable from 11" (28 cm) to 18" (46 cm).
Task lighting – Should offer 75 to 140-foot candles of adjustable lighting and be asymmetrical to reduce shadows and glare spots.
Laptops – Use an external mouse and keyboard for extended periods of computer use and take regular breaks and change your posture when working for long periods of time.
Exercise is frequently recommended by health care professionals to help peoples' physical and mental health. Movement is key to staying fit and healthy, even when you have mild aches and pains. Improving your strength and flexibility can also help as this allows muscles to work for longer and gives joints the range of movement they need to work efficiently.