Check Out Your Workstation
By Lisa Ellis, InteliHealth News Service
You sit at your computer for eight hours a day, staring at the monitor and making the same tiny finger motions over and over. Your files are electronic, so you don't even get up to go to a filing cabinet. After a full day of this, you're tired — and maybe you even hurt.
People who work with computers have reported a variety of problems that can be related to work habits, work station design or job design, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These complaints include fatigue, eyestrain and irritation, blurred vision, headaches and pains in the neck, back, arm and muscles.
It doesn't have to happen. Although the way you work in an office can put a strain on your body, there are things you can do to be more comfortable and to help prevent injuries.
Here are some basic tips, adapted from OSHA and other sources:
The design of your workstation and the surrounding office can make a difference in your comfort and perhaps reduce injuries. Here are some suggestions from OSHA on proper design for the work area:
Lighting and glare:
General workstation design:
Simple adjustments to your chair, your monitor and other equipment also can help. OSHA suggests these steps:
If you have pain or discomfort despite these precautions, consult your company medical or human resources department to help you find the best way to work comfortably. Many companies will provide special equipment for employees who need it.