Five ergonomic mistakes you might be making at the office!

Sitting still for too long isn’t good for your body. There are some things you can do to make sure that you lessen the strain on your body – simple tricks that you might not have thought of.

Did you know that something as innocent as having the wrong height on your keyboard is enough to cause RSI if used for long periods of time? Or that your computer mouse can cause you a lot of pain?

Here are five ergonomic mistakes you might be making at work.

1 – Not using an ergonomic mouse.  Your wrist is in an unnatural position when you use the old fashioned regular mouse. The twist in the wrist is very strainful on your arm, elbow and shoulders. Use a vertical mouse that keeps your wrist in a more natural position, the handshake position. A pen like mouse is perfect as the pen grip is a very relaxed way of holding the mouse.

Picture of an arm i the correct postition to the table

Let your arm rest on the table and the pen grip allowes you to lean your arm at an optimal 45 degree angle

2 – Not using an ergonomic keyboard. The regular keyboard is to thick. You have to either twist your wrists upwards to reach the keys, or hover both your arms above the table to reach the keys. Either way is bad for you. The regular keyboard is also way to wide and when you place your mouse to the right of the keyboard it means that you are working outside the wdth of your shoulders which can cause pain in the long term. Use a keyboard that is as flat as possible, allowing you to rest your arms on the table as you type without having to twist your wrists upwards to reach the keys. A tenkeyless design (no numpad) is also good as it lets you bring your mouse in and work within the width of your shoulders. If you use a numpad in your work, get a separate mouse pad that gives you flexibility as to where to place it.

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3 – Sitting still for too long. Move around every now and then, change your working positions. Do you have a sitt/stand desk? Perfect, use it.

4 – Only using a laptop. The new ABW (Action Based Workplace) offices are great to look at and perfect for the employees as you move around a lot and change your working positions often. But a lot of people are using their laptops in this work environment and some places might not have screens and computer peripherals, leaving you with just your laptop. Because the keyboard and the screen is attached it means that the screen is far too close to you, making you look down to see whats on the screen. Push the laptop away from you and use an external keyboard and mouse.

5 – Strong contrasts between the light computer screen and dark laptops or computer peripherals (keyboard etc). Constantly changing from looking at a light background and a dark background is bad for your eyes. This can cause dry eyes or gritty eyes. Look for lightly coloured computer accessories that match the light background of your screen for the optimal eye ergonomics.

Read more about ergonomy!