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Updated on October 20, 2020

Stress and Ergonomics at Work

We spend almost 2/3rd of our waking day at the office in a sitting position over a desk and computer terminal.  Anyone working more than 4 hrs with computer can be consider office workers.

Stress and strain is common amongst office workers and you are at risk if you maintain these actions for long periods of time at work

  • Awkward postures (like bending or twisting)
  • Static postures (like sitting or standing)
  • Repetitive motions (like carrying, lifting, typing)
  • Forceful exertions (like lifting heavy loads)

Recommended Seating Posture at your Work Desk

A.  Position the monitor 45-60 cm (approximately 1 arm’s length) away from your body and the monitor tilted 5-10o. Your eye level should be looking at a spot on the screen 1/3rd from the top of the monitor.  After 2 days, check your neck position while at your desk.  If your body is bending forward, this means your monitor is too far from you. If your head is tilting backward, it means that the monitor is too close to you.  Adjust the monitor position accordingly until your neck position is in a straight (0 degree) position

B.  Don’t allow light to shine in your eyes or directly onto the screen as it reflects into your eyes

C. Your elbows and forearms should be at 90o bending and upper arm should be closed to the body to avoid a ‘reaching position’ (known as an awkward stretching position)

D.  The thighs should be 90o to your spine and resting comfortably on the chair which should be padded with adjustable arms to rest your forearms at the correct and comfortable position

E.  The keyboard should be flat on the table with the mouse placed nearby to prevent you from stretching

F.  You can use a dynamic foot support on the floor to support your ankle to prevent being in a static position too long

G. Do take interval breaks every 20-30 mins and do some office stretching exercises to avoid static position and encourage blood circulation to prevent muscle stiffness

H. Lap top users should use an external keyboard and a laptop stand to increase the height of screen to prevent neck stiffness.

Click to view JenHilman video on Neck Stretch Exercises

Some useful tips

  • Avoid bending your neck
  • Do not hunch your back
  • Keep your elbow close to your body (and not stretched out to the keyboard)
  • Avoid staying in 1 position for too long
  • Avoid overuse of 1 muscle group by adjusting your work schedule or work pace
  • Take short rest breaks (every 45-60 minutes)
  • Do some office stretching exercises during your break or lunch time

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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