Office Workstation Tips For Preventing RSI And Other Computer Related Injuries
There can be no denying that work environments of the 21st century are heavily reliant on computers. Whether you’re emailing invoices out to your clients or creating a 3D image of someone’s dream home, we all end up sitting at our office workstations for hours every day. There are actually a number of injuries and illnesses that can be caused by hunching in front of a screen. Fortunately, they can be combated by making some simple changes.
Health Issues Associated with Computer Overuse
There are a number of injuries and illnesses that you could develop from slouching at office workstations overtime, including:
- Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) – this covers carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis or bursitis, tendinosis, thoracic outlet syndrome, trigger finger or trigger thumb, and cubital tunnel syndrome.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) – this injury is a painful condition that affect the muscles, nerves and tendons as a result of prolonged poor posture. It can also lead to reflex sympathetic disorder (RSD).
- Back Pain – this covers sprains, strains and herniated discs. An extended sitting position tends to cut off blood circulation to muscles in the back, leading to severe strain or aches.
- Neck Pain – this is usually experienced as a dull pain that arises from the base of the skull and is caused by slumping forwards. The most common muscles affected are the scalene ones, which help rotate the head.
- Shoulder Pain – this covers shoulder flexion (a forward slump of the shoulders) as a result of poor posture and abduction of shoulder tendons (one-sided movement or elevation of shoulder muscles).
Tips for Preventing Health Issues
Fortunately, there are a number of tips that we can incorporate into our daily use of office workstations to help prevent these issues from arising, including:
- Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) – you can prevent these sorts of injuries from occurring by using a comfortably designed workstation; correct placement of your chair, mouse and keyboard; sitting correctly (your lumbar curve should be cushioned); and resting your feet on the floor.
- Back Pain – you can prevent these sorts of pains from occurring by avoiding sitting for more than 20 minutes at a time; practicing some simply shoulder rolls (to reduce pressure on spinal discs); and using a broad workstation that lets you rest your elbows whilst typing.
- Neck Pain – you can prevent these sorts of pains from occurring by placing the computer screen two to three inches above eye level; and regularly performing chin tuck or neck traction exercises (point your chin downwards towards your neck).
- Shoulder Pain – you can prevent these sorts of pains from occurring by lifting your shoulders up to your ears and rolling them backwards and down to a normal position (to relieve stiffness); and keeping your workstation clutter free (to avoid overreaching).
Whilst there are plenty of other health issues that can arise from the incorrect use of office workstations (such as headaches and eye strain), we have found that those outlined above tend to be the most prevalent (and damaging). We hope that you find out list of tips useful in preventing these injuries and illnesses or in relieving them if they have already developed. And remember that investing in an ergonomic workstation can go a long way towards prevention.