Virginia Integrative Health
410 Pine Street Southeast
Vienna, VA 22180
How To Reduce Work Strain Ergonomically
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are the single largest category of workplace injuries, and often effect the body’s ability to move without pain. Poor work-space design and repetitive motion are common culprits.
If physical/mental fatigue continue to be an overriding issue, and the recovery period is inadequate, body system failure can result. The nature of the injury is reflected in muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels. Learn how to help prevent repetitive workplace and MSD-related ailments with these simple interventions.
Engineered factors in certain conditions can be linked to high task repetition, accompanied by awkward postures and strained lifting. Re-assess your workspace, implement these changes and help reduce your workplace injury risk.
Keep your computer monitor at eye height, at least 20 inches away.
Look away from your screen often to reduce eye fatigue, strain and dry eyes.
Keep your keyboard, phone and equipment clean to help prevent a common bacterial breeding ground.
Reposition yourself and stretch often to reduce muscle/joint fatigue.
Reduce repetitive movements, constantly answering the phone or reaching for an item can cause strain/stress.
Declutter your desk, save yourself the mental distraction and help improve efficiency.
Don’t keep unhealthy snacks at your desk, keep a supply of healthy shelf-stable snacks like nuts, protein bars and jerky instead.
Seated Body Positioning for
Sustained posture/prolonged sitting is also implicated in MSDs – the average American sits for an estimated 10 hours a day. This sitting put force on the joints of the lumbar spine, creating weakness to core musculature and reducing recovery ability.
Maintain your body in a neutral position, chair adjusted so your thighs are parallel with the floor. According to OSHA this helps prevent risk of developing MSDs. Choose a chair that supports your back, using a pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back if needed. Position your hands, wrists and forearms parallel to the floor, with your head in-line with your torso. Position your elbows close to your body, at a 90-120-degree angle, with your shoulders un-tensed and your feet flat on the floor or supported.
Implement these basic interventions and see if you can improve workplace strain and stress. If you find your aches and pains are still causing disruption, consider starting your wellness journey with an individualized integrative medicine approach to pain and stress.