With more people working from home during spring and summer of 2020, workstation ergonomics is more important than ever. Injury from heavy manual labor jobs can be common, but injury that stems from sedentary work should and can be prevented. An average adult can spend half their time sitting in the workplace, and with technology platforms now being a primary tool for communication (meetings, teaching, conferences) the amount of time is increasing.
Workspace Ergonomics: Ergonomics, defined by OSHA, is “the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population.” With proper ergonomic desk set up, office space design and postural awareness, workspace injuries can be prevented. Overuse injuries are most common with poor ergonomic and inferior posture. Some overuse injuries can include neck pain, back pain and wrist pain. Physical therapy along with proper desk set up play a key role in reducing injury risk.
1. Position computer screen at eye level to prevent prolonged strain and bending of the neck
2. Keep your feet flat on floor or use foot rest to keep back in alignment
3. Use armrests for elbow support
4. Keep some space between back of your knees and the chair
5. Keep your head upright and over back of neck (don’t crane forward)
6. Give yourself “posture checks” occasionally; use phone for reminder or a note on your screen
Workstation Ergonomic Set Up Recommendations
Amy Hileman, PTA