Watch Out for These Office Health Hazards

Common Office Items Can Cause Health Problems

Although office equipment and technology, like computers and desk chairs, are essential to the workplace, incorrect usage may have unexpected health implications. Repetitive motions at your desk can number in the thousands in a single workday. Meanwhile, the rest of your body maintains a static position sometimes for hours on end. Often we don’t think of the potential hazards right in front of us. Take a look at the list below to see how you can avoid these office health hazards.

office health hazard

Keyboard and Mouse

After hours of typing-away on a keyboard, your body begins to feel the effects. Typing is a skill that requires a certain position in order to avoid ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries.

How to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

1. Exercise Your Hands

It may sound unimportant, but all that pecking away at the keyboard can cause discomfort on your hands and wrists. Practice a few hand exercises and stretches to prevent discomfort and further issues – a great way to exercise the hands is by clenching your fist for several seconds, releasing, and then repeating.

2. Use Good Posture

Improving your posture is a simple and effective way to prevent the development of carpel tunnel syndrome. Although it may feel awkward at first, always sit with your feet flat on the ground, back straight, shoulders relaxed, and with your neck straightened.

3. Invest in the Right Computer Equipment & Ensure Proper Positioning

Generally, the wrists should be bent up only slightly (about 20 degrees), and turned out slightly in the pinky direction about 10 degrees. According to the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (a division of the US Department of Labor) you should position your keyboard so that it’s at the same height (or slightly below) your elbows, which should hang comfortably by your side. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your wrists should not bend too far up, down, or move to the side when typing.

Split or ergonomic keyboards (keys turned outward slightly) are usually necessary only if you have a large frame and/or large chest. The ergonomic keyboard compensates for your arms being so far apart from each other (which can stress the wrist in a normal keyboard.) If you choose to try an ergonomic keyboard, expect 6 to 8 weeks of mistyping while you get used