Sitting at a desk/workstation for 6 hours a day is thought to be the cause of many health problems including diabetes and abnormal blood pressure. But if sitting is essential then there are a few things that employees can do to minimise the risk to health:
- Adjust your chair height so you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level to the floor, this will help to reduce repetitive strain injuries.
- Rest your feet on the floor or on a stool if necessary, with your knees below your hips.
- Place your screen at eye level and approximately an arm’s length away to reduce neck strain.
- Keep your arms bent in an L shape with your elbows by your side when using a keyboard.
- Reduce sources of glare to reduce eye strain. Either adjust the positioning of your monitor or close blinds to reduce glare.
- Put up with sore wrists. If your wrists hurt whilst typing, try a wrist pad in front of your keyboard. If that doesn’t work don’t just grin and bear it but get proper support and advice.
- Hunch over… keep your bottom to the back of your chair and keep your back straight as bad posture will usually lead to back aches.
- Forget to take regular breaks to stretch your legs and take a break from the screen.
- Use the wrong glasses. Make sure that you have a suitable pair of glasses for close up work at a computer and get your eyes regularly tested.
- Forget to fill in the DSE Questionnaire.
10.5 If you are one of those who gets absorbed in your work, try setting diary reminders/alarms to get you up and moving on a regular basis. An alternative is to lead the way in your office by demanding that some of your meetings are ‘walking’ meetings – if it’s just you and one other who needs to talk then why not take a walk around the block instead of hunkering down in yet another chair?