8 ways to prevent work-related injuries

12:57 PM, Apr 23, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Do News10 employees practice preventative posture?
Chris Nguyen -- Upright back, good wrist bend, elbows in tight, within close distance of workspace, but not using backrest -- Satisfactory

April is National Occupational Healthcare month and U.S. HealthWorks is out among America's workforce trying to help prevent injuries in the workplace.

Whether at a desk or on a construction site, injuries can occur in any setting. Fortunately, many of those injuries can be prevented by paying attention to one's surroundings and taking the time necessary to create a work environment that promotes better positioning.

PHOTOS: How many News10 workers are prone to workplace aches and pains?

Regional Therapy Director of U.S. HealthWorks, John Harrison, says there are several simple steps workers can take to prevent ailments on the job, and National Occupations Healthcare month presents an opportunity to educate people on how to be better prepare themselves to be pain free at work.

"It's our opportunity to bring awareness on how injuries are affecting people and how we can be a positive impact and help people to prevent injuries and be more aware of what they're doing with their bodies," says Harrison.

One of the problems with many workplace injuries is that they are not immediately noticeable. 

Harrison says injuries can take months or even years to develop. And injuries developed over extended periods of time can result in months of treatment to remedy.

But how does one go about preventing injuries while at work?

Harrison offers the following eight tips to keep away the aches, pains and hours of sick leave associated with workplace injuries:

Elbow Room
Keep your elbows tucked in at the side of your body; not out in front of you.

Back Support
Choose the proper chair. Your chair should have lower back support. Keep the backrest up against your spine as high as possible.

Adjust the height of your chair so your feet touch the ground and keep about three fingers of space between the edge of the seat pan and the edge of your leg.

Monitor Your Monitor
Position your monitor so you are looking straight ahead and don't have to lurch forward. Leaning forward to look at your screen puts strain on the lower spine to hold the position.

Station Preparation 
Keep your keyboard, mouse and CPU within a short enough distance to prevent overextension.

Flat Out Typing 
Keep your keyboard flat and use a wrist support. Positioning the legs up on the keyboard to create an angle places strain on the forearms. Keep the keyboard flat to promote better wrist position.

Stretch it Out
Incorporate stretching and exercise breaks throughout the workday to reduce neck, lower back and upper extremity fatigue.

Invest in a Headset
If you spend a lot of time on the phone, consider using a headset. This allows you to move your head, neck, and shoulders freely.


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