Where do the majority of costly workplace accidents happen?
A new study suggests that the Finance department is a risk.
Fellowes Inc. found that 74% of full-time office workers experience pain a few times or more per week while sitting at their desk. Its survey, “Comfort in the Workplace,” examined the ergonomic habits of employees and their exposure to musculoskeletal disorders like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
A majority (61%) admitted to taking over-the-counter pain meds, and 15% said they take prescription painkillers.
And even though over 80% expressed interest in using ergonomic products, like backrests, fewer than 30% of those surveyed said their employers provide them. Only 20% said their employers provide actual training on ergonomics.
With almost three-quarters of office workers reporting pain when they’re simply sitting at their desk, it’s clear that ergonomics training is more vital than ever. Without it, the office can cause as many injuries as a typical hazard-filled facility.
Keep them up to speed
In light of the results of the study, Fellowes also supplied an ergonomic checklist for office workers to reference while sitting at their desks. It’s worth passing this checklist around to make sure your staffers aren’t in line for a painful injury like carpal tunnel or tendonitis:
- Sit approximately 20″ to 35″ from your monitor.
- Position the top of the monitor screen at eye level or slightly below it.
- Use a document holder placed within an optimal viewing range (in line with your monitor and keyboard tray) to properly position the document upright.
- Use a glare filter to reduce glare, brightness, and reflection.
- Add a task light to illuminate documents and avoid shadows.
- Keep wrists straight in a neutral position.
- Keep the bottom of the elbow even with the keyboard height, not below.
- Keep forearms approximately parallel to the floor.
- Use less force while striking keys.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and in a neutral position as you type.
- Avoid cradling the phone between your shoulder and ear.
- Keep elbows close to your sides as you use the keyboard and mouse.
- Do not overextend your arm to reach the mouse. Keep the mouse as close to the keyboard as possible.
- Take a moment every so often to roll your shoulders up and back to alleviate tension.
BACKS AND LEGS
- Adjust your chair so your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Sit back in the seat so your lower back is supported firmly by the chair, a backrest, or a lower lumbar support.
- Place your feet on a footrest to relieve “pull” on the lower back.
- Make sure to get up and stretch every hour.