Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Employees sitting too long, stressing backs

Work habits influence ergonomic health ...

"Many of us are spending more time at the office, and injuring ourselves in the process.

One in ten Canadians reports a repetitive strain injury serious enough to limit normal daily activities.

Injuries are caused by typing, using a computer mouse, talking on the phone and staring at computer screens for hours on end.

In fact, sitting too long is the most common mistake employees are making, according to Diane Stinson, the owner of Healthworks, which specializes in ergonomics.

"People are working long hours, not taking breaks, skipping lunch and taking work home with them.

The longer you sit, the more stress you put on your body, so we suggest you don't sit for longer than 50 minutes," says Stinson.

She says get up, walk around the office, even try some simple stretches to reduce back strain and poor posture.

Stinson helps companies outfit employee work stations with the latest in ergonomic furniture.

When Calgary company Newalta recently moved into a new office building, it invested in desks that convert from sitting to standing with the press of a button.

It also purchased foot rests, ergonomically designed keyboards and mice and head sets, for employees who spend long hours on the phone.

Kelly Conrick, a Newalta employee, says people don't place enough importance on their posture, until it's too late.

"I could hardly move my neck! I could move one side, but not the other side. It not only affected me at work, but at home as well," says Conrick.

She's a lefty, but was trying to force herself to work at a right-handed work station.

Ergonomic assessments usually only take about 45 minutes to an hour, and can be particularly helpful for people who are overweight or with special medical concerns.

But Stinson believes all employees can improve their office space, and employers benefit as well."    (Continued via Canada.com)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Posture Talking On Phone - Ergonomics

Posture Talking On Phone

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