Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cheap office ergonomics

Good article at Psychology today about how to avoid back pain at minimal cost:

1. Maximize your space - make sure that the things you use frequently, such as the stapler or message pad, are within reach. Grabbing for objects can cause back contortions resulting in injury.

2. Level the field - one of the leading causes of back pain is craning your neck to look at a computer screen below your field of vision. "Prop up your monitor with a telephone book," says Kirschner. "They're free and widely available."

3. Lumbarize your chair - if your office chair doesn't offer you enough lumbar support roll up a small towel and placing it in the curve of your lower back. Make sure it is not too large, the towel should just fill the gap between your back and the chair.

4. Get up and stretch periodically - just raise your hands above your head or do a slight back bend every 20 to 40 minutes.

5. Don't cradle the phone - "The single most important preventive measure: don't cradle your phone between your ear and shoulder." Invest in a hands-free headset or use the speakerphone.

Andy Brazier

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