Quick Tips for the Workplace

How many times have you been sitting at your desk, busily getting jobs done, when you look at the clock and realise you haven’t moved in hours?

Or how often are you stuck in one position while you work on a car engine, or fix the plumbing in a bathroom?

This is all too common in the workplace, especially as our jobs become more demanding and we find ourselves sacrificing break times to do more work. Sustained postures, especially postures that are not ideal for your body (see article on ergonomics), increases your risk for an overuse injury. In the workplace, the back and neck are most commonly injured in this manner.

Here are some simple strategies that can be used to avoid these common workplace injuries:

  1. Check the set up of your chair, desk, worksite or workbench, and tools (see article on ergonomics).
  2. Look into getting a sit-to-stand desk. These desks have an adjustable height, where you can alternate between sitting and standing. This allows your legs and back to change position, and prevents other issues like knee stiffness or tight leg muscles.
  3. If you cannot access a sit-to-stand desk, another great option is to stand up every 30-60mins. An easy way to incorporate this into your day is to stand up every time you have a drink, or march on the spot while on the telephone. You could also set up a reminder on your computer, and do 10 seconds of neck stretches or shoulder rolls when it comes up on the screen.
  4. If you are working away from a desk or outdoors, an alarm on your phone or smart watch can cue you to stand tall, do neck stretches, shoulder rolls, or leg stretches for 10 seconds.
  5. Taking a short walk during lunch times is a great way to get the whole body moving, loosen the back and break up screen time or stationary postures.
  6. Whether you are working in an office, on a site outdoors, or in a workshop, it is important to regularly change what you are doing. Sustained postures and repeated movements are the major cause of work injuries, thus changing duties, equipment and positions will greatly reduce your risk of hurting yourself.

If you have any questions about your workplace set up, or want further information, give us a call on (07) 3511 6352

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