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Four Things To Do To Make Your Desk A Safe Work Space

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If you work a desk job, you may believe that you are immune to work related injuries. However, sitting and working on a computer for hours at a time can result in a plethora of injuries, including eye strain, carpel tunnel syndrome, and back pain. Making a few simple changes to your desk ensures your work area is conducive to productivity rather than injuries.

1. Reconsider how you type.

Repetitive movements, such as those associated with computer tasks, are a contributing factor for carpel tunnel syndrome. Reduce the amount of typing performed each day by investing in a speech to text program.

If typing is required or preferred, make sure to always use proper typing techniques. The elbows should be rested along the sides of the body, while the wrists need to be straight. Individuals who find that they struggle to maintain the appropriate typing position may use a keyboard designed to promote ergonomic typing. These keyboards are often slanted or adjustable to keep your wrists correctly situated.

2. Check your posture.

When working at your computer, you should be seated in a neutral body position to prevent strain and discomfort in the back.

Your head should be level, and it should line up with your torso. The back is vertically upright or slightly reclined. Make sure your knees are at the same height as your hips. Feet should face forward.

If the feet do not comfortably touch the floor, it is permissible to support them with a foot rest.

3. Replace old office equipment.

If you spend your day in a lumpy, ill fitting office chair, it is time for an upgrade. Exchange it for an adjustable chair that provides adequate lumbar support for your back. When sitting, the chair should adjust low enough that your feet are flat on the floor. 

When looking at your computer monitor, it should be at eye level. If it isn't, swap your current monitor stand for one that places your monitor at the correct height.

Consider the layout of your desk. It needs to be large enough to house all of your commonly used items so that they are comfortably within reach. Avoid desk designs that have you bending into awkward positions to reach what you need.

4. Take a break.

It is advised to take a break from looking at your computer screen approximately every 10 minutes for 30 seconds. Make it a goal to stand up and do a bit of stretching every half hour.

By making a few simple changes to your work space and integrating simple behavioral changes, you are taking important steps to promoting a healthy, safe working environment. If you have questions about your office safety, contact a workers compensation attorney for advice.