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An Expert's View On How To Avoid Work-Related Ailments

By Dr Shriram Krishnamoorthy

Ergonomics is the science of designing the workstation to fit within the capabilities and limitations of the worker. The goal of office ergonomics is to design your office work station so that it fits you and allows for a comfortable working environment for maximum productivity and efficiency.

The benefits of ergonomics are that it helps:

  • avoid discomfort,
  • avoid fatigue,
  • improve productivity and
  • promote effective working.

According to Boldsky Expert Dr Shriram Krishnamoorthy (Orthopaedic Surgeon), a strong safety culture boosts productivity, employee morale, and employee retention in the company, because a strong ergonomics integration prevents injuries and increases productivity. Together, they make the workplace safer and reduce costs.

Dr Krishnamoorthy has provided a list of 10 tips that can help avoid injuries in the workplace. Take a look.

1. Support weight of the arms: It is ideal to sit on a chair with arm support. The arm's weight when supported can offload the stress it takes on the shoulder and cervical spine.

2. Keep the weight of head directly above the neck don't "crane" forward: Don't lean forward, sit straight such that the weight of the head is directly over the neck. So the center of gravity is maintained and there is no undue stress to one part of the neck bone.

3. Don't slouch: Similar to keeping the neck upright, it is wise to hold the torso upright. The principle is the same as above (point 2), where the lumbar spine is not strained a lot. By doing so for long, you can get muscle pain, spondylosis, or disc-related ailments in your lumbar spine. You can avoid both the above by moving your chair closer to the table. Moving forwards and using the natural back support of your office chair prevents backache.

4. Keep the monitor at eye level: By placing the monitor at the eye level, you can eliminate the unwanted up/down and sideways movement of the neck bone and muscle. If you keep doing that unwanted movement over a long time it can cause strain to neck and shoulder muscles.

5. Avoid phone "jamming": Use headphones or speakers to avoid this. Phone jamming is slowly becoming one serious cause of neck pain in working professionals. Phone jamming is when you keep the phone balanced on your shoulder, by pushing your cheeks, ears, and side of your neck.

6. Keep the mouse closer to the keyboard: This is yet another simple but effective ergonomic tip. This can reduce the load on the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Keeping the mouse far away in the long term can cause tendonitis of the shoulder.

7. Keep the monitor at arm's length: "One arm distance" a common phrase that we heard during the morning prayers in school holds good for work too. In general, all work equipment at accessibility like screen, mouse, and keyboard.

8. Screen glare: Avoid screen as in the picture below, the monitor shouldn't be either facing the window or opposite to it. It is always advisable to have natural light sideways and artificial lights from the top to avoid screen glare and thereby reducing fatigue.

9. 20-20-20 rule (Computer eye syndrome): The thumb rule now advised in an ergonomic meeting is the following 20/20/20 rule. This has found to decrease the wear rate among the employees.

10. Thigh & feet position: Similar to shoulder and elbow support, it is wise to support thigh and feet too, which help decrease leg fatigue.

On A Final Note...

The above tips are effective even if you are working from a space in your home, considering that for most of us, homes are offices now.

Read more about: ergonomics expert work
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