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Office Ergonomics: Change Your Workspace to Improve Your Health

Sitting at your desk for hours on end can take its toll on your body. In the short term, improper desk posture can cause muscle soreness, joint pain and headaches. Over time, this discomfort can develop into serious, chronic medical conditions of your neck, back, shoulder, wrists or hands. But pain and disability are surprisingly easy to prevent by applying ergonomics.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) describes the role of an ergonomist as assessing “the physical relationship between the worker and the work environment” and formulating solutions to minimize stress on the body in the workplace environment. The Ohio BWC provides useful ergonomic tools and resources for improving the safety of your office workstation, including:

  • Use a headset if you regularly talk on the telephone, instead of holding the phone between your ear and shoulder.
  • Position your monitor so that the top of the screen is just about at eye level.
  • Place your keyboard and mouse on the same surface level and at a height and distance that allows you to keep your wrists straight, your upper arms close to your body and your hands below your elbows.
  • Sit in a chair that supports the curves of your spine and that allows you to maintain your head and neck balanced atop your torso.
  • Adjust your chair’s height so your feet can remain flat on the floor, or place a sturdy footrest underneath them.

Even after taking all of these precautions, you may still suffer from the repetitive stress injuries commonly associated with frequent computer use. A Cleveland workers’ compensation lawyer can help you recover benefits for this type of serious workplace injury.

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