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Desk Safety and Ergonomics

We have currently been going through and talking about a lot of safety in our blog posts (safety blog posting about safety who would have thought), most of our focus has been based more on industry safety, electrical safety and this is very important but it has mainly been things that are based in a more hands-on workplace. We could have some managers reading the blogs or office workers, people who work primarily on computers. There is actually a lot of hazards in an office environment and although some people will likely scoff at this statement and even though a lot of the incidents would not be as serious in another workplace, obviously you are probably not going to get horrifically injured or killed in an office, however, it that does not mean you shouldn’t take precautions to make sure you stay healthy. You should never get injured at work, in any scenario. Especially if it is easily avoidable.

Ergonomics

If you have ever worked in an office you understand that a vast majority of your day is spent sitting at your computer, this presents many problems and can cause several health issues. Some of the issues that can arise are easily fixed by improving the way in which you work at your desk. Ergonomic equipment is a must. This includes an appropriate chair, desk and even keyboard/mouse. Let’s start with the chair. There are some really simple steps you can take with any computer chair you are sitting in to greatly increase your comfort/health.

    1. Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair.
    2. Adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to, or slightly lower than, your hips.
    3. Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-110° reclined angle.
    4. Adjust the armrests (if fitted) so that your shoulders are relaxed.

These are some simple steps in regards to your chair that you can carry out. A lot of what is safety around a computer desk is based upon comfort, however, comfort is not always the most important thing. You want to remain seated with good posture like above, don’t let comfort get in the way of your health, sitting properly is a simple thing to do and it can help immensely.

In regards to your desk, a new thing that has been around for a little while now is desks that are height adjustable. This is a great thing to have if you can afford it for your workplace, or can justify the need for it to your bosses. A desk that adjusts to a height that enables you to stand up and work is a god send. It may sound weird but it is great. You obviously do not spend your entire day standing up at your desk (unless you’re that way inclined) but it is great to alternate between sitting and standing. It gets you to move around a bit and it helps stretch you out and you can continue doing your work.

Keyboards and mice can also be used incorrectly, make sure you have your keyboard positioned away from the front edge of your desk, the majority of the forearm is supposed to be on the desk with the fingers sitting comfortably on the middle row of keys. If sitting at a scalloped desk, the keyboard and mouse can be closer to the edge of the desk as the forearms can be supported by the desk shaping around the body.

This has just been a few simple tips that can greatly increase your comfort levels at work but also your safety, you don’t want to be twinging your back or neck while sitting at a desk now do you?