Many MSDs can be prevented with some simple adjustments to the workplace. These can include office equipment such as:
- Adjustable desk chairs
- Lumbar support pads
- Under-desk keyboard trays to put computer keyboards at a proper height
- Adjustable stands for computer monitors
- Wrist or back braces for typing or lifting
- Task lighting such as a desk lamp
Often, you can create a more ergonomic workplace without purchasing anything new. For example, if glare from a window is making it hard to see a computer screen, try moving your desk or rearranging where the computer sits. If your monitor is too low, put a book under it.
You can also improve ergonomics by adjusting the way you and your employees work. For instance, if a job requires lifting heavy boxes for an hour, have employees take turns so that no one is lifting for more than an hour at a time.
3. Break It Up
Taking regular breaks is key to getting the full benefits from an ergonomic workplace. Basically, a break should provide the chance to do the opposite of your normal posture and tasks. If you work hunched at a computer eight hours a day, get up, stretch and walk around once an hour. If you stand most of the day, sit down and rest or walk around.
Give your eyes a regular break from the computer or phone screen by staring at a blank wall, closing your eyes, or rubbing your hands together and cupping them over your closed eyes for a minute.
If you have employees, you can have everyone take breaks at the same time and lead the team in some gentle stretches, walking in place or other light exercise.
4. Monitor results
Monitor the results of the changes you make and continue adjusting your workplace as needed to make it more ergonomic.