How to Improve Workplace Ergonomics after Injury

Post Injury Work Ergonomics After an injury, it becomes even more important that your workplace is compatible with your capabilities and encourages a healthy spine. There are several steps you can take to improve workplace ergonomics and boost your productivity as a result.

Ensure Your Desk and Chair Encourage Good Posture

If you spend most of your time sitting in a chair and working at a desk, it’s important to ensure that you’re maintaining good posture throughout the day. Here are some tips:

  • Choose a desk that’s an appropriate height for you. Everything on your desk should be very easy for you to reach.
  • Make sure that your monitor’s height is appropriate. When you look forward towards your monitor, your head should be in a neutral position. If your head leans forward while you work, you may experience neck pain or headaches in the future.
  • Both of your feet should be touching the floor. Your body and legs should form a 90-110-degree angle.
  • Keep your neck and head upright, and avoid slouching or hunching forward.
  • Wrists should be straight and your forearms parallel when typing. Shoulders should remain perpendicular to the floor.
  • Check the depth of your seat. There should be enough space between the chair and your calves to fit your full fist. If not, your chair is too deep. Moving the backrest forward or placing a pillow behind your back can help alleviate this problem.
  • Adjust your armrest to ensure that your elbows are supported. This will alleviate some of the pressure on the shoulder and back. At the same time, the extra support will help prevent you from slouching.

Simple Tips to Prevent Re-Injury

  • If you spend prolonged periods of time on the phone, use a headset to keep your neck upright.
  • To avoid eye strain, shift your focus from close objects to objects that are further away from time to time.
  • Take breaks every 20-30 minutes to stand up and stretch.
  • Use your arm and shoulder to move the mouse – not just your wrist. Hold the mouse loosely and avoid resting your arm on the desk while you move the mouse.

It’s important to create a safe, ergonomic work environment following an injury. Practicing good posture can help prevent back pain and reinjury, and the right desk and chair can help you achieve this goal. Before heading back into the workplace, perform an ergonomic assessment of your workspace to ensure that it meets your needs.