April 21, 2010

By Just Sitting at a Desk You Could be Injuring Yourself

Repetitive strain injury is preventable - find out how

If you're working in an office setting, spend a good chunk of your workday in front of a computer and are experiencing numbness, aching or swelling of the wrists and hands, you could be experiencing a repetitive strain injury and not even know it.

That's right - just by sitting at your desk you're more likely to experience muscle fatigue, increase your chance of repetitive strain injuries and practically guarantee discomfort in your back, neck, shoulders and arms.

The good news is repetitive strain injury is preventable.

Taking a few minutes each day by incorporating simple movements like shrugging your shoulders, stretching or standing up when you're talking on the phone, can help improve your body's circulation. It can also help prevent fatigue and discomfort and make you work more efficiently.

Also, have you ever considered the impact working at a computer may have on your eyes? Staring at a screen may require us to consciously blink more frequently to prevent eye fatigue. You may also want to practice 20/20/20: every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

The way you're working may be hurting you and putting unnecessary strain on your back, neck and shoulders. The Winnipeg Health Region has ergonomic guidelines to help keep you healthy while you're at work.

Here is some specific information to help review your workstation, and some adjustments to consider making to prevent repetitive strain injuries:

How's your posture? It's more important than you'd think.

Is your chair at the right height? Here are some tips on how to adjust it.

What zone are you in most frequently? You may need to rearrange your workstation.

Is your monitor properly positioned? Too high or too low isn't good. Found out how to aim for just right.

Is your keyboard properly positioned? Doing so could save you pain and injury.

Where's your mouse? It matters.

Is your keyboard tray helping? Click here to find out.

Is your laptop hazardous to your health? Not if you use it properly.

Intrigued by what you can do to make your work space and work day healthier? Read more here:

Good body position

How to set up your workstation properly

Ergonomics Checklist

Frequently asked questions about sitting

Sitting don'ts

Things to consider about your work chair

A look at sitting balls

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