Three Ways to Reduce Back Pain at Work

Reduce Back Pain with Standing Desks

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.

Excluding more obvious causes of pain, such as traumatic injury and heavy lifting, most long-term back pain is attributed to our office workstations. Poor posture, poorly positioned equipment, such as the placement of our keyboard and mouse, and the excessive periods which we sit during the work day all contribute to chronic back pain. Here are simple solutions to help reduce back pain at the office.

Moving Throughout the Day

Maintaining flexibility versus continuous sitting is a remedy for most office-related backaches. Long periods of sitting exert pressure on the back muscles and spinal discs, which you may not feel until you get up. Then the sharp pain sets in. Take periodic breaks throughout the day. Walk around the office and stretch. Sit-Stand Workstations also encourage regular movement, maintain blood flow, and offer all the benefits of low-impact flexible movement without exertion.  Learn more about how sit-stands help back pain and provide other health benefits. 

Proper Workstation Arrangement

The impact of poorly arranged computer equipment is subtle and seems completely unrelated to back pain. However, you will begin to feel the difference by using these ergonomic tips:

Monitor placement-Position your monitor so the top of the screen is at eye level. Use a monitor stand if necessary. Place the monitor about arm’s length away.

Keyboard placement-Keep your keyboard directly in front of you when typing.  Keep your arms bent in an L-shape and elbows at your sides. Use a keyboard tray to position your keyboard correctly if needed.

Keep your mouse close to you- When you place your mouse on a desk, the tendency is to reach for it, causing pains in our arm, which can lead to pain in your back as your body tries to compensate for the difficult position in which you are working. The shorter the reach the better when mousing.

Improving Your Posture

Sitting correctly is one of the most important actions you can take against office-related back pain. Make sure your office chair is at the correct height. Ideally, your forearms should be straight and level with the floor as you type at your keyboard. Here are other tips for posture:

  • Don’t cross your legs
  • Don’t slouch
  • Either keep feet flat on the floor or use a footrest
  • If you find yourself frequently changing your position in the chair, use a backrest to keep a consistently secure and comfortable sitting posture

 

Dual Monitors Increase Productivity and Lower Company Costs

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In a recent study conducted by Dell, dual monitors were tested against single monitors for productivity. The research revealed that dual monitor configurations saved time and improved accuracy in the computer tasks performed. Workers also favored the dual monitor option for their daily computing needs. Positive responses from users is also important data from a productivity perspective as higher satisfaction among employees translates into greater productivity.

 

Choosing the Best Multi-Monitor Setup

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Flexibility with adjustment is key for comfort and monitor placement where you need it

Easy to mount monitor arms take the headache out of setup and allow changes in workstation configurations to be made easily without hassle.

Tilt and elevation adjustment capabilities offer the greatest and most precise range. Your monitor arms should adjust to you, not you to it!

Weight support-Make sure the monitor arm you select can handle the weight of  25  pound flat screens.

How Dual Monitor Arms Performed Over Single Monitors Setups

In terms of speed of performance, dual monitors increased efficiency by two minutes per task over single monitors.

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The research also showed that information was easier to find using dual monitors.

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How does this productivity translate into financial savings?

Researchers broke out the potential savings by number of employees and by monitor configuration. For example, moving from a single 17-inch screen to a setup of dual 19-inch monitors brings a productivity gain that translates to 56 extra days of work per employee per year, or approximately $1.5 million in cost savings per year for a company of 250 employees.

How to Maximize Space in a Small Cubicle

A small cubicle workspace does not have to mean disorganization. Use the partition walls for storage, task management and brainstorming. Here are three cubicle hacks for quick and easy organization.

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Vertical Storage

Files and office supplies can take up space on desktops. Convert one of your cubicle walls with vertical storage, using Partition File Pockets and Vertical Organization Trays to organize documentation, and Partition Shelves and Pencil Cups for office supplies. Also use waterfall sorters and step files for vertical file management.

Project Wall

Section off one of your partition panels for task management. Your priority to-do list is as easy as a Partition Clip and pending projects can be displayed with a Note Rail.

 

Brainstorming in a Small Space

Transform your cubicle into a think tank with simple accessories. Use a Partition Dry Erase Board for new ideas and hang a vertical file pocket or brain bin for notes, thoughts and problem-solvers.