Reading a recent article in MONEY magazine (Sept. 2013), it was great to see ergonomics being highlighted. According to the article, musculoskeletal injury, “costs are out of control”; however, simple prevention tools are available.
The goal of ergonomics is to help you create your best posture to be able to work without pain and strain to your body. Specific office tools such as these can help:
1. Phone headset – to allow for proper neck and shoulder alignment. Eases muscle strain. ($10-$20).
2. Document holder – allows for upright alignment of the torso, neck and head. Reduces eye and neck strain. ($10-$30).
3. Footrest – helps with alignment to create a continual 90 degree angle while sitting. Provides for less strain on the front of the torso (abdominal muscles), lower back, knees, and legs. ($25-$40).
4. Keyboard – when using any keyboard the proper positioning on your desk will allow for a neutral position of the wrists. Make sure your forearms are at about a 90 degree angle and wrists are neutral, not resting on the keyboard (which can put pressure on the median nerve where the carpal tunnel is). Proper positioning will help to achieve the best posture with less strain on the shoulders, arms, elbows and wrists. ($25-$50).
5. Lamp – good natural lighting is best to help prevent eye strain and fatigue. ($25-$70).
6. Chair – it is the #1 office tool to achieve correct posture. Without it, none of the above will work as effectively if the whole body is not supported at all angles. Go to your local Office Supply Store and try out a chair that has many adjustments that fits your body type, height, seat pad (width and length), and height of chair back. Make sure there are, removable arm rests. At home matters too. Be mindful of good ergonomics for all work activities. ($90-$200).
Once all these supporting office tools are in place and adjusted to fit your body, your creative brainstorming can go to work with effortlessness and complete focus. In the long run, with regular body maintenance, your work day will breeze by without strain or pain.
Tax Deduction: Keep your receipts! For those who are self-employed and use a home office or if you work for a company, ask your tax professional about potential deductions! If you see a Physical Therapist, Massage Therapist, Chiropractor, Osteopath, or any therapy for body strain, use your flexible health spending account at work to fund your co-pay with pretax dollars. This can save you cash and ease your mind when it comes to getting the help you need to ease body strain. It makes going to work much more pleasant all the way around!
Resource: September 2013 Money Magazine.
Kate Montgomery ~ ERGOhealthy Coach and Professional Kinesiology Practitioner