Ergonomic Solutions: Improving Occupational Health

Posted on by RTA Team

Are you smart at work? Okay, we know you’re a smart cookie, but consider these statistics before you exclaim yes!:

In the general population, neck pain and dysfunction are common, affecting up to 67% of the general population at some time during their life [1]

Office workers are a specific population at high risk of developing neck pain [2-4]

A significant positive relationship exists between the percentage of the working time in a sitting position and neck pain, implying an increased risk of neck pain for workers who were sitting for more than 95% of the working time [4]

A trend for a positive relation between neck flexion and neck pain was found, suggesting an increased risk of neck pain for people working with the neck at a minimum of 20° of flexion for more than 70% of the working time [4]

If you work in an office, your health could be at risk, but don’t be alarmed, we have some ergonomic solutions for you!

Ergonomics and Neck Flexion Explained

ergonomic solutionsSimply put, neck flexion is the action of bending the head forwardand (as the aforementioned studies exert) doing so for prolonged periods of time puts you at a high risk for neck pain. Beyond this, an uncomfy workplace can also cause back tension and wrist pressure.

The good news: with some simple ergonomic solutions, your mind and body can be put at ease.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Ergonomics is an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.

Ergonomic Laptop Stand Solutions Improve Occupational Health

Applying ergonomics to create a comfortable and safe working environment is actually quite simple. Here are a few ways you can create an ergonomically-fit workplace:

1. Proper Computer Screen Positionergonomic laptop stand

Should be slightly below eye level when sitting comfortably & tilted slightly backwards

-A screen that is too low can put stress on your neck muscles contributing to strain and stiffness

Ergonomic laptop stands are the ideal solution and is a preventative tactic for this problem, as the majority of us these days use a laptop as our primary computer

2. Viewing Distance

Should be approximately 12-28 inches from the computer screen (so you are not straining your neck muscles to see what you are typing)

Using an adjustable laptop stand can really help in this aspect as well!

3. Keyboard Height

Should be approximately 23-28 inches from the floor

4. Leg Position

Your thighs should be horizontal

5. Back and Neck Supportergonomic desk chair

We suggest that you choose an ergonomic desk chair with good back and neck support look for one with the following features:

-A padded and adjustable seat

-Padded arms

-Built-in lumbar support

-Dual wheel casters so you can move around easily

-Locking and tilting mechanisms

-Tension knob adjustment

 Feeling a little more comfortable already? We thought so!  Have any other thoughts on how to make your office more comfortable or homey?  Please leave us a comment below and share your thoughts with us! We look forward to hearing from you!


[1] Cote P, Cassidy DJ, Carroll L: The Saskatchewan health and back pain survey. The prevalence of neck pain and related disability in Saskatchewan adults. Spine 1998, 23:1689-1698. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text
[2] Chiu TTW, Ku WY, Lee MH, Sum MH, Wan MP, Wong CY, Yuen CK: A study on the prevalence of and risk factors for neck pain among university academic staff in Hong Kong.  J Occ Rehab 2002, 12:77-91. Publisher Full Text
[3] Kamwendo K, Linton SJ, Moritz U: Neck and shoulder disorders in medical secretaries. Part 1. Pain prevalence and risk factors. Scand J Rehabil Med 1991, 23: 127-133. PubMed Abstract
[4] Ariëns GAM, Bongers PM, Douwes M, Miedema MC, Hoogendoorn WE, van der Wal G, Bouter L, van Mechelen W: Are neck flexion, neck rotation and sitting at work risk factors for neck pain? Results of a prospective cohort study. Occup Environ Med 2001, 58: 200-207. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text

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