Whether you’re working in an office or from home, having the right workspace set-up can help you avoid what is becoming the fastest-growing category of workplace injury: Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD). MSDs such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis are often related to repetitive motion and stress injuries resulting from ergonomic stressors, like lifting heavy items, typing for too long on a computer, or sitting at a workstation in an awkward position.
What can you do to prevent getting an MSD? Here are some tips from worksite safety experts on how to use ergonomics—the science that seeks to adapt tasks and tools to fit the employee—to help you stay healthy and avoid injuries on the job.
Ideally your workspace should have an adjustable chair that you can customise to work best for you. Specifically, you’ll want to pay attention to:
Your workspace should be set up with the following:
Now that your workspace is set up ergonomically, what about the bag you carry to and from the office, or when travelling? Lighten your load by only carrying what is needed, or consider using a rolling bag or backpack to distribute the weight evenly to both sides of your body.
You may feel uncomfortable when sitting for too long, which is why many offices are beginning to implement standing desks or sit/stand workstations. Standing workstations allow you to work with a more neutral back posture when compared with seated work. However, standing requires more energy than sitting and can put stress on certain joints such as your hips, knees, or feet. It may be beneficial to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
Listen to your body and take short breaks throughout the day when you start to feel any discomfort. This can help improve blood flow and keep working muscles fresh and loose. Not sure where to start? Check out our Stretching Examples guide.
It is just as important to set up healthy habits when you work from home—even if you are only doing so occasionally or on a temporary basis. Take the time to create a defined workspace—if possible, in a well-lit room with as much natural light as possible. Invest in a good chair and consider getting a monitor and separate mouse and keyboard to avoid the strain of hunching over a tiny laptop. Take regular breaks to stand up and stretch; and above all, try not to succumb to the temptation of lounging on the couch while you work—your back will thank you!
This content is brought to you by Chubb Insurance Australia Limited (“Chubb”) as a convenience to readers and is not intended to constitute advice (professional or otherwise) or recommendations upon which a reader may rely. Any references to insurance cover are general in nature only and may not suit your particular circumstances. Chubb does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and any insurance cover referred to is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions set out in the relevant policy wording. Please obtain and read carefully the relevant insurance policy before deciding to acquire any insurance product. A policy wording can be obtained at www.chubb.com/au, through your broker or by contacting any of the Chubb offices. Chubb makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content. Readers relying on any content do so at their own risk. It is the responsibility of the reader to evaluate the quality and accuracy of the content. Reference in this content (if any) to any specific commercial product, process, or service, and links from this content to other third party websites, do not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by Chubb and shall not be used for advertising or service/product endorsement purposes. ©2020 Chubb Insurance Australia Limited ABN: 23 001 642 020 AFSL: 239687. Chubb®, its logos, and Chubb.Insured.SM are protected trademarks of Chubb.
Contact a broker today.