We’ve seen an unprecedented rise in the number of people working from home due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Employers are now presented with the challenge of making sure their employees are not only technologically equipped to work from home but that their workstations are correctly set up to reduce potential musculoskeletal injuries.
To support our clients during this difficult time, we’ve designed virtual workstation assessments to ensure that the health, safety, and wellbeing of employees is never at risk. We do this through the RMReach telehealth platform, a user-friendly, digital application which allows Rehab Management consultants to provide remote workstation assessments across Australia.
What does a virtual workstation assessment involve?
During a virtual assessment, our qualified allied health professionals will assess, identify, and highlight any hazards and risks associated with the ergonomics of an individual’s workstation. Some of the things we will focus on during a workstation assessment include:
- Chair – your chair height should be adjusted to allow your feet to rest comfortably on the floor. If this makes your chair too low in relation to the desk, use a footrest and raise the chair up to the desired height. When sitting, your knees should be about level with your hips, your backbone should be straight, and your shoulders should be back.
- Desk – your desk should be deep enough to accommodate your monitor at the appropriate distance and all of the other equipment you need to access on a regular basis. Make sure that you stand up to access items that can’t be comfortably reached while seated. If your desk has a hard edge, pad the edge, or use a wrist rest.
- Monitor – your computer screen should be directly in front of you so you don’t twist or turn to see the full screen. It should be at a comfortable distance for viewing, which is usually about an arm’s length away from your usual sitting position. The top of the screen should be at eye level or just below so you look down at a slight angle to your work.
- Keyboard – your keyboard should be directly in front of you so that you don’t have to twist or rotate to use it. You should be able to have your forearms close to horizontal and your wrists straight when using the keyboard and your elbows should be close to your body. If you use a wrist support, make sure you don’t keep your wrist elevated for too long.
- Mouse – your mouse should fit the size of your hand so that it is comfortable to work with. Your wrist should be in a neutral position when you use the mouse, and your fingers should be able to rest on the push buttons between actions. Keep the mouse close to the side of your keyboard edge to prevent stretching.
Moving and stretching
It is imperative that you take short breaks throughout the day to get your body moving and minimise fatigue. Stretching your neck, shoulders, wrists, back, ankles, and the rest of your body is also recommended several times a day. Including some form of physical activity in your working day will not only minimise workplace injuries, but will also reduce stress, increase productivity, and lead to a happier, healthier work environment.