The team and I had a great chat Wednesday. It started because one of the girls was experiencing some pain in her shoulders from constant typing and she was seeking advice on what exercises she should do. The discussion opened up with suggestions on seeing an Osteopath, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist, but then it turned to general OH&S practices and what is important.
We all should be regularly taking breaks from our computers and doing something else. It’s possible that many of you have not done an Occupational Health & Safety Course and if that’s the case, I urge you to do some research on this – I know you’ll find info online.
About six months before I started my business, I was on the lookout for any information I could get, and the govt dept I worked in sent all the staff to an OH&S course – I was pleased to do it. Had my eyes checked, did some exercises, learnt about ergonomic furniture and how to set up the monitor, keyboard and chair correctly. Breaks should be taken every hour for 5-10 minutes – I usually do that by going to the kitchen to make a cuppa, or load some washing in the machine, go out and check the letterbox, water the garden, something outside of my office generally. That way I’ve moved around, stretched my body, got some fresh air, rested my eyes, arms, and hands from the constant sameness and then came back to my office. I only started wearing reading glasses 2 years ago (I’m in my late 40s) and even then, only for very small text but not for use in front of the computer. I usually only suffer aches when working at someone else’s computer (a client’s) and not my own.
Whilst getting the right equipment and being correctly set up from the start may seem more expensive than just getting any old chair and placing your computer in any convenient spot, the reality is the cost would be far greater if you ended up with continuous medical bills, and perhaps even having to stop working further down the track. Protect yourself by looking after yourself properly.