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Office Ergonomics Checklist

12 July 2013

Posted by: Anthony Eskief

Office Ergonomics Checklist

Posture - Activity - Exercise

  • Maintain proper posture, paying careful attention to positioning of head, neck/spine, arms/wrists, hips/thighs and feet. Basically, ensure the small of your back is supported, your shoulders relaxed (not slumped, not elevated), and that there is no pressure under your thighs.
  • Alternate between different postures on a regular basis.
  • When keyboarding, use minimum force while striking the keys.
  • Keep a neutral position, where the forearms, wrists and hands are in a straight line.
  • Avoid awkward reaching for work tools such as telephone, mouse and reference materials.
  • Avoid resting elbows, forearms or wrists on hard surfaces or sharp edges.
  • Take frequent mini-breaks throughout the day to give muscles and joints a chance to rest and recover.
  • Alternate between work activities which use different muscle groups to avoid overuse.
  • Give eyes a break by closing them momentarily, gazing at a distant object and blinking frequently.
  • Proper exercises are a complement to a complete office ergonomics program. Consult with us to select appropriate exercises. 

Lighting - Air - Noise

  • Maintain appropriate light levels for specific tasks. More illumination is usually needed to read a document than a computer screen.
  • Reduce or eliminate glare by using window shades, diffusers on overhead lighting and anti-glare filters for computers.
  • Adjust the contrast and brightness on your computer screen to a comfortable level.
  • Get a regular eye exam and if necessary, wear corrective lenses. Tell your eye specialist how often you use the computer.
  • Clean the computer screen and other surfaces regularly.
  • Reduce the number of dust collecting items like papers and files on your desk.
  • If necessary, use a portable air cleaner to reduce airborne particles like dust, pollen and mold.
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature by using layers of clothing or a portable fan or heater.
  • Be considerate to others working in the area and conduct meetings and conversations in appropriate areas.
  • Position fabric partitions to reduce noise from conversations, foot traffic and equipment, like copiers and printers.
  • Identify distracting noises and try headphines, ear plugs, soft music or a quiet fan to reduce or mask the noise. 

Work Style - Organization - Breaks

  • Reduce stress by planning ahead and setting realistic expectations for what you can accomplish during the workday.
  • Organize your workload to help even out busy and slow times, to avoid feeling "swamped".
  • Vary tasks to make the day more interesting. For example, deliver a message in person instead of phoning.
  • Avoid long periods of repetitive activity. For example, alternate computer work with other tasks like phone calls, filing, copying and meetings.
  • Organize equipment, supplies and furniture in the most efficient arrangement for daily tasks.
  • Enhance privacy by using office partitions and privacy filters for computer screens or documents.
  • Acknowledge ideas and accomplishments of co-workers on a regular basis.
  • Develop stress reduction and relaxation techniques which work for you at the office and at home.
  • Personalize your office with a few favorite items, like artwork, photos and plants.
  • Take mini-breaks that re-energize, invigorate and refresh.
  • Follow these same ergonomic guidelines at home, in meetings and while travelling. 

 

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