When IT jobs are considered, and other fields where employees are primarily sitting throughout the day, workers’ compensation risks don’t typically come to mind. However, sitting for extended periods of time, overextending, lifting, reaching, and similar repeated motions can cause muscle strain and injuries. In this article, we’re going to explore how ergonomics can be applied to IT professionals, and other office related positions, to reduce injury and prevent Workers’ Compensation claims from arising.
Here are some tips to improve efficiency and ergonomics at a desk:
- Arrange files and items in a way that is easily accessible on the desk.
- Ensure the desk is tall enough to easily accommodate the knees and legs.
- Use a computer monitor that is easy to read and does not require excessive leaning in to view clearly.
- Place the computer screen at eye level.
- Protect against eyestrain, which may lead to vision problems and headaches. For example, glare guards are available either as part of the monitor or to be placed over the monitor screen. Plasma screens also have less glare than other monitors, explains WebMD.
Sitting from extended periods of time can cause strain on your clients’ backs and necks. Investing in high quality seating is a must to prevent these injuries. Here are some considerations when evaluating seating and keyboards:
- The chair should support employee’s lower backs.
- It should have adjustable arm rests to accommodate different heights.
- A supportive chair should be adjustable, so that you can set the height to rest your feet flat on the floor. Keep your feet supported on the floor or on a footrest to reduce pressure on your lower back. Some people like to sit in a slightly reclined position because it puts less stress on the back, although this may increase stress on the shoulders and neck when you reach for items
- The chair should roll easily without much exertion, preferably with multiple wheels.
- Keep head and neck in a neutral position, at least 18 inches away from the computer screen.
- Keep the keyboard at elbow’s height and keep wrists straight while typing.
Taking frequent breaks from the computer and sitting can give the body a break. Simple 10-15 second breaks and looking away from the screen can allow eyes to adjust. Next, change tasks every 20-40 minutes, if possible, to prevent repetitive injuries over time. Lastly, go for a walk. Even if your clients can get up and walk around the office or go get water once an hour, they can minimize their risk of injury.
About Domenick & Associates
At Domenick & Associates, we have a unique understanding of the IT Sector and how to properly secure your clients’ operation. We pride ourselves on offering a range of products that are necessary for their success and longevity. For more information about our products, contact our experts today at (215) 629-5701.