The Problem. An article from onvia.com reported that a study by the National Research Council estimates that nearly 1 million people miss work each year due to musculoskeletal disorder injuries (MSDs). To cut down on the compensation expenditures, lost wages and decreased productivity that companies are enduring from MSD injuries, many Denver area companies are taking a proactive approach.
A Solution. Level 3 Communications in Broomfield, for example, is taking measures to get their employees away from their immobile desks and into an energetic gym. Level 3 employees, who would normally sit in front of their computers all day, are able to get their daily dose of exercise and take preventative measures against MSD injuries by using an on-site company fitness center. The main reasons for Level 3 and other big corporations in the area to provide free fitness centers for their employees is to reduce the company’s health costs, increase productivity and to maintain employee retention, said Heather Swift, facility manager of Club Level 3.
Some Small Business Ideas. Fitness Centers aren’t realistic for small business, but you still can implement some of the following precautions to make your office more ergonomically correct.
- Rest the telephone on your hand, not your shoulder. If you use the telephone often, see if a headset can be connected or use a receiver shoulder rest. Or better — use a head set.
- Support your back with an ergonomically correct chair. Your desk chair should fit snugly against your back. Be sure to tilt your chair so you are sitting up straight with your feet flat on the floor.
- Take breaks often. Whether you stand up for a minute to do a few stretches or rest your eyes by diverting your attention away from the computer screen, taking small breaks will help increase your productivity and decrease your chance of an MSD injury.
- Concentrate on proper wrist placement. By using a wrist pad, you can rest your wrists when you’re not typing and keep them from getting sore. Also, if you use a computer mouse often, make sure to move your entire arm when maneuvering and use a mouse wrist pad for additional support. This will help eliminate the overuse of your wrist.