Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Is Your Workspace Affecting Your Health?

Working behind a desk used to be considered one of the safest occupations. Because really, what can you do to yourself sitting in front of computer. Many new studies have begun to show this type of work can, in fact, be harmful to your health.

Have you ever heard of the term “ergonomics”? This is the study of how the human body relates to tools and equipment. This term defines how the body, its cognitive abilities, and its movements ‘fit’ with the devices you use. For instance, ergonomics would determine how your back fits in your office chair.

When you work behind a desk, how you ‘fit’ with your computer, desk chair, handsfree headset, or even your keyboard can directly affect your health.

Ergonomics and Your Health

Do you think your job is a pain in the neck? Well, it might literally be. Consider the following if you want to avoid health hazards in the workplace.

1. Sore Eyes:

The Survey of Ophthalmology recently released a report staying that regular computer users face the risk of dealing with blurred vision, double vision, red eyes, tired eyes, and burning eyes. Why? Because individuals who stare at computers all day blink 60% less often than those who don’t. This leaves the eyes open to dust and dry air, causing dry eye problems. To avoid this problem, take the time to look away from the computer at least once every half hour.

Back Pain- Cutting costs when it comes to your office chair may end up costing you a bundle in chiropractic bills. Poor ergonomics in your office chair can cause both acute and chronic pain in the back. To avoid this problem, the chair should be adjusted to the right height so you are facing the computer screen head on. The back of the seat should be at a 90° so you are sitting up straight, and the chair should provide lumbar support for your lower back.

2. Neck Pain:

Cradling a phone between your ear and shoulder while you attempt to use the computer or perform other office tasks can quickly lead to neck pain, and, according to the BBC, can even lead to a mini-stroke. Neck pain can also be caused by have to look down at or up at computer screens. Instead of using a regular phone, consider investing in a handsfree headset. This will allow you to perform your office tasks while speaking to your clients. Also, be sure your computer screen is directly in front of your eyes so you do not have to bend your neck.

3. Noise:

A recent study by Cornell found that office workers who were employed in noisier offices were more likely to feel stressed and not take the time to make simple ergonomic adjustments, like adjusting the height of their computer screen or chair. The study also found that using hands free headsets with noise cancelling qualities were able to block out noise in the office so workers could concentrate on work, be more productive, and focus on proper ergonomics.

While you may think that working behind a desk will keep you safe, think again. Without proper ergonomics, you could be facing some serious health hazards. Avoid health problems by investing in a great office chair, a handsfree headset, and making sure your workstation is adjusted so you are staring directly at the computer screen.

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