WARNING: Your office may not be as safe as you think

Clinical Expertise

Jun 15, 2015

ergonomical assessment lady on excercise ball at workEven if you don’t consider your job hazardous, it doesn’t mean you’re risk free… In fact, your nice and cozy cubicle or corner office can be a minefield for your health.

As an IT specialist, Debbie Olson spends a majority of her workday sitting in front of her computer. When she started to experience back pain at work, she sought the help of a physical therapist.

In order to understand what was causing the pain, the therapist came to Debbie’s office to observe her habits and work environment. After assessing Debbie’s situation, the therapist took several steps to customize her work environment to match her health needs. They replaced her desk chair with one more suited to her body type and work style. They altered the height of her computer, keyboard and mouse to provide better alignment and posture. And Debbie was given a list of simple exercises she could do at work to improve flexibility and relieve overworked muscles.

“The process is easy,” said Debbie. “They came over to my area and watched and evaluated how I work, then made adjustments and re-assessed.”

This science of matching the workspace to the worker is called Ergonomics. Ergonomic assessments observe how people routinely interact with their work environments to find ways to make them safer and more efficient. Poor positioning of office equipment can cause back or neck pain, eye strain, shoulder, or arm pain.

Some of the things they look for include awkward posture, repetitions of tasks, use of force, and stress from vibrations.

“These habits and changes aren’t anything difficult, but if you don’t know about them then you can’t develop them”, said Debbie.

If you have pain that typically occurs at work or is increased with prolonged computer and desk work, then you may benefit from an ergonomic assessment.

Brooks Rehabilitation’s Pain Program provides ergonomic workplace assessments upon request. If you are interested in finding out more about the Pain Program please contact us at (904) 345-7221.

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