An office environment is pretty safe compared to other types of workplaces. Most office jobs include minimal manual labour, and are generally indoor, in temperature controlled offices. That said, there are some health risks associated with working on a computer all day you need to be aware of. It’s crucial that employers educate staff on the risks and offer tips on how to prevent problems. There are also some aids available to ensure all employees are comfortable and safe while at work.
Staring at a computer screen for most of the day can be hard on your eyes. Some people develop headaches from straining their eyes, making it difficult to work. Computers cast off a rather bright unnatural light. While computers have made work more efficient, it can be a health and safety issue if employees are looking at screens for prolonged periods.
Here are three ways to reduce eye strain in the workplace:
- Encourage employees to take short breaks and look away from the screen when possible.
- Suggest that employees dim their computer monitor light so it matches the lighting in the room.
- Install a screen filter over the monitor to reduce the harm.
Neck and Shoulder Pain
When you sit in a chair all day typing, clicking and reading on a computer you can start to feel significant neck and shoulder pain. This is not necessarily your computer causing this, but how you sit when you’re working on it. Take a look at the chair your employees are sitting on. Bring in a professional ergonomic expert into the office to conduct an evaluation. By adjusting the chair height and arms you can make sitting much more comfortable.
If that isn’t enough, some employees may require additional aids, such as back rests and foot rests so they can comfortably sit up straight.
Hand and Wrist Issues
To avoid hand and wrist pain caused by typing, make sure your keyboard and mouse are set up properly. Place them as close to the edge of the desk to prevent your wrists from resting on the desk. If you do have pain, consider purchasing a wrist brace from the local pharmacy.
It’s also good to stretched your wrists and fingers frequently to keep them to getting sore and stiff. Try different positions, such as placing your palms together in a prayer position and move to point the fingers outward from your chest.
Risks Associated with Being Stationary
There are plenty of articles on the dangers of sitting for prolonged periods of time. It’s also not healthy to stand for long periods of time. If it’s not in your company’s budget to provide convertible standing desks to employees, it’s good to encourage staff to get up from their desks during break time and lunch.
Office work often means sitting for long periods of time, so it’s good if there is a place where staff can walk – whether it’s around the building or a nearby park.
Even if going for a walk isn’t an option, you should at least encourage staff to get up and stretch their legs sometimes.
If you want to discuss getting some new hardware to help your employees stay healthy and comfortable at work, talk to us at TwinBytes. We can consult with you on different solutions for your office.