If you work in an office in Wisconsin, you may not think of your workplace as being particularly dangerous. Nevertheless, sitting and working at a computer all day can put you at risk for certain injuries. These often relate to repetitive stress and may affect your eyes or the soft tissues of your extremities. Fortunately, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, you can take steps to minimize your risk of injuries related to prolonged computer use.
One of the most common injuries related to computer use is eye strain. If the muscles of your eyes become strained due to your use of the computer, you may notice difficulty focusing. Other symptoms include irritation and dryness of the eyes.
A 10-minute break for every hour that you work on the computer can help to reduce eye strain and fatigue. During these breaks, you should focus your eyes on objects apart from your computer screen, preferably at varying distances. Looking out a window is a good way to accomplish this if you happen to have access to one.
Additional measures you can take to combat eye strain include increasing the font size on your computer screen, minimizing screen glare by dimming overhead lights or closing window blinds and positioning your monitor slightly below the level of your eyes.
Sitting and working for hours at a time on a computer can also result in musculoskeletal disorders related to repetitive movement and posture. Your employer should offer adjustable workstation equipment, such as keyboards, desks and chairs, and train you on their setup and use. However, you also bear some responsibility for setting up your workstation according to ergonomic guidelines.
To the extent possible, you should maintain a relaxed, neutral posture with your feet flat on the ground. Your arms should hang loosely from your shoulders with your elbows at a 90-degree angle while typing. You should adjust the chair to provide firm back support to allow you to sit up straight. The positions of your monitor, chair and keyboard should all be in a straight line with your body.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.