When you are at home it is much easier to stay fit and healthy but constrained by office surroundings it can be much harder to look after yourself.

Office workers spend up to 40 hours a week in a seated position looking at a screen, if you care about your health outside of work then you should make sure you are looking after your body at work since it is such a large portion of your week.

There are many common problems that people at work can suffer from, including back ache, headaches, repetitive strain injuries and even deteriorating eyesight these can be serious problems that need professional medical assistance, but for many simple changes at your work place can make a big impact.

 A good chair

Your posture can have an impact on your overall health and back ache is just one symptom of a poor sitting positions. Most workplaces should provide you with a safe working environment and a good chair and work station should be included in your company’s health and safety programme, however this can often be overlooked.

Your employer should provide you with a good office chair that is comfortable to sit in, many office chairs are adjustable so it is your responsibility to adjust the settings according to your height.

  • Adjust the chair so your lower back is supported, this is the most common cause of back pain in the office and can affect your life considerably if you develop serious back pains and problems.
  • Make sure the height of your chair allows you to place both of your feet flat on the floor.
  • Tuck your chair in, make sure you don’t have to lean in to your desk, many office chairs are on wheels and are easy to slide under your desk so you can reach your keyboard with ease.

Typing and using a mouse

A few simple changes to your workstation and you can help your general posture and comfort considerably.

  • Keep your mouse close, by not having to reach for your mouse too much you can avoid straining and you can keep your wrist straight, this can help prevent repetitive strain injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are not going to be using your keyboard for any length of time then push it aside to give you more room to use your mouse.
  • Use a wrist pad, a wrist pad supports your wrist and keeps it from being in an unnatural position. A wrist pad will help your wrist stay straight and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injuries when using both your mouse and keyboard.

Using a screen

When working in an office you will most likely have a laptop or computer, looking at a screen all day can cause eye strain.

  • Avoid glare, it is your employers responsibility to make sure your screen is not in direct sunlight and efficient blinds are installed to prevent glare. Make sure your screen is not under direct overhead lighting. You can also adjust your brightness and contrast settings on the screen to make it more comfortable to use.
  • Working with glasses, if you wear glasses and look at a screen this may become uncomfortable, your employer can arrange an opticians appointment but you may need to look at the option of bifocals if you are constantly having to move your glasses up and down to view the screen.

Using the phone

Using the phone a lot can cause neck problems and shoulder problems.

  • If you are constantly on the phone and having to cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder then this can cause neck injuries, if this is the case you should speak to your employer about a headset phone.

This article was written by Mainstay Group who have a dedicated website to Health and safety, health and safety in the workplace is just as important to your well being as health at home.