We’re all guilty at times of getting laser-focused on a project at work and forgetting to look up from the computer screen for hours on end. While we know we should get up and walk around every 45 minutes or so, it’s hard to make it happen when deadlines are tight. But all of that sitting hunched over a computer takes a major toll on our bodies and has negative health consequences, especially if our workstations aren’t ergonomically correct and set up to encourage healthy work habits.
all of that sitting hunched over a computer takes a major toll on our bodies and has negative health consequences
Is your work environment contributing to your end-of-day aches, pains and stiffness? If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be hard to know for sure, so we’ve created a self-inspection checklist to help. The goal is to answer the questions below with as many “yes” responses as possible. If you’re answering “no” repeatedly, it’s a good time to make some adjustments!
Ergonomics Self-Inspection Checklist
|Head and Neck||YES||NO|
|Have you adjusted your monitor, so the top line of the text is always near eye level?|
|Is the distance between your eyes and the screen about an arm’s length?|
|If you frequently talk on the phone, do you wear a headset or use headphones?|
|Back and Legs|
|Is there adequate space under your desk to allow for comfortable leg movement?|
|Have you adjusted your chair so that your:|
|· Lower back is well supported?|
|· Feet are flat on the floor or a footrest?|
|· Thighs are parallel to the floor and knees bent at 90 degrees?|
|Arms, Wrists and Hands|
|Have you adjusted your keyboard so that your:|
|· Forearms are parallel to the floor?|
|· Shoulders and upper arms are relaxed?|
|· Wrists are straight?|
|Is the mouse close to the keyboard, and on the same level?|
|If your chair has armrests, do they comfortably support both forearms?|
|Is your computer monitor:|
|· Placed at right angles to the window and away from direct overhead light?|
|· Adjusted so that the brightness and contrast are comfortable for you?|
|Is there adequate light?|
|Do you alternate tasks throughout the day?|
|Do you build in mini-breaks for stretching?|
|Do you get up and walk around frequently?|
Of course, these are just a few of the considerations for a healthy work environment, but completing a quick self-assessment is a great place to start!
Your Engaged HR Assignment:
Most of us experience work-related aches and pains occasionally, so it’s worth knowing if your work set-up is to blame. Take 10 minutes today to use the checklist above and identify if there are ways you can tweak your workstation to prevent musculoskeletal issues.