Undisciplined office related activities include working in awkward positions for hours without taking proper breaks. These ‘non-ergonomic’ activities lead to innumerable Musculo-Skeletal Disorders (MSDs) and hence, it is necessary to take a reasonable amount of time out for yourself in between any monotonous or repetitive work. Another major concern for MSDs is ‘pressure’ or ‘force- applicable’ jobs. Punching or stapling pile of papers, shifting or moving objects, comb-binding, are some tasks that require application of force and pressure. Indulging in such manual labour for long periods at a stretch are major causes for MSDs.
Thus, it is necessary to implement a few steps and technique that help reduce application of force and offer necessary intervals.
Steps to minimize forceful work:
- Avoid resting your wrists against a desk edge.
- Do not over-fill file drawers.
- On large projects, consider mechanized alternatives to manual comb-binding, stapling or manual physical tasks that are highly repetitive.
- Follow safe lifting practices at all times.
Steps to manage time:
- Take adequate breaks from work.
- Change position of work every two to three hours.
- Stretch your key muscles regularly to avoid spasms and stiffness.
An Overview of the entire ‘Body Postures And You’ Series:
- Minimize ergonomic-risk factors.Pay attention to your body and know your physical limitations.
- Make use of an ideal chair at your workplace.
- Follow the correct procedure while lifting heavy/light objects.
- Rest your arms and wrists well while indulging in repetitive work (operating the keyboard, mouse, etc).
- Stretch and change positions throughout shifts or before/after activities.
- Make use of alternative technological options if available.
- Report ergonomic issues through appropriate channels.
Remember, ergonomic injuries are preventable by being conscious and maintaining the right posture!