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A few tips on office ergonomics to prevent injuries

You wouldn't think that you could get hurt from sitting at a desk all day with minimal activity, but sedentary jobs can lead to numerous injuries.

The fact is, you can't sit at a desk for hours on end and keep the body flexible and strong unless you balance your sedentariness with good office ergonomics, stretching and regular exercise.

Let's take a look at some of the things you can do in your office to prevent neck, back and repetitive use injuries.

How to make your desk and office ergonomically friendly

Back pain, neck pain and repetitive use injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome are more likely to develop in office workers who don't have a good diet, who don't regularly exercise and who don't follow office ergonomic advice.

Here are a few things you can do to keep your office life injury-free:

  • Your chair needs to support the natural curves of your spine. Be sure to adjust your chair to be the proper height. Put your feet flat on the floor and use a footrest, if needed, to achieve that. Your thighs should also be parallel to the floor. Make sure that the armrests are high enough that you can rest your arms gently while keeping your shoulders well-relaxed.
  • Put important objects that you frequently use, like your phone, printed materials and stapler in an easy-to-reach place. If you can't reach something easily above your head, be sure to stand up when you try to access it.
  • Your mouse and keyboard should be on the same level. Your wrists should be straight extending from your forearms without bending upward when you're using your keyboard and mouse.
  • If you use your phone a lot, don't cradle the phone piece between your neck and shoulder. Rather, use a headset so your head and neck are free to move around and uninhibited. Alternatively, use the speakerphone setting to speak with clients.

Follow this advice and you'll avoid a lot of injuries

By following the advice above, office workers will avoid a lot of common job injuries associated with sedentary office work. However, injuries can still happen no matter who you are, and no matter how physically intensive your employment happens to be.

If you develop a job-related health condition, no matter whose fault it is, you may be able to receive workers' compensation benefits to pay for medical care and time spent unable to perform your job duties.

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