Every day, thousands of workers across the state of North Carolina file into office buildings, sit down at their workstations, and begin a busy day of typing and talking on the telephone. Regardless of how these people feel about this type of largely sedentary work, the fact remains that they are at an elevated risk of suffering some sort of musculoskeletal injury, or developing some type of lingering pain in their backs, necks or hands.
While this is understandably alarming, the good news is that there are steps that office workers can take to protect themselves from suffering these sorts of debilitating workplace injuries and that it may involve nothing more than a few simple adjustments.
Steps You Can Take While Sitting in Order to Prevent Workplace Injuries
Watch your posture: As tempting as it may be to slouch or bend your body in an unnatural manner, experts at the Mayo Clinic advise office workers to keep their body positioned directly in front of their keyboard and monitor. Here, sitting up straight is crucial with forearms kept level or tilted slightly upward, and upper legs kept horizontal with the knees and at hip-level.
Adjust your chair: There is an unspoken competition among many office workers to try to secure the most comfortable chair. While this is understandable, the reality is that many workers — despite securing the best chair — are at risk of developing work injuries because they aren’t seated properly. Experts at the Mayo Clinic advise making sure that the chair height allows you to keep your feet flat on the floor and knees at hip-level. Furthermore, they recommend maximizing lumbar support or using a special pillow if this option is unavailable.
Position objects carefully: Most people like to keep personal items — pictures, small toys, etc. — prominently displayed on their desks. This is perfectly fine, say Mayo experts, so long as it doesn’t push vital objects regularly used — telephone, keyboard, stapler, files, etc. — out of arms reach. In the event these important items have to be moved out of arms reach, experts advise office workers to simply stand up to retrieve them rather than stretching excessively.
Stay tuned for future posts in which our blog will continue to explore this topic, including proper positioning of computer equipment.
If you’ve suffered a serious work injury and are worried about how you will make ends meet during your absence, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional about your options concerning workers’ compensation benefits.
- Workers’ Compensation Benefits in North Carolina
- Top 10 Facts to Know About Workers’ Compensation
- Work Injuries and Charlotte Employer Responsibilities
- Study: Office Workers Can Protect Health by Getting Out of Chairs
- Mayo Clinic, “Office ergonomics: Your how-to guide,” April 2013