Additional Tips for Working Comfortably
Breaks, Stretching and Overall Health
To reduce fatigue, alternate work tasks to allow for variation of work patterns, take mini-breaks for stretching muscles and to rest your eyes. Short breaks can make a tremendous difference if you stretch, breathe deeply, rest your eyes, stand up and move around. Be sure to talk with your physician before starting a stretching program.
Activities you do away from the workplace can contribute to muscular strain and discomfort as well. Using the same repetitive motion patterns, awkward postures, and excessive force can add considerable strain to your body no matter where you are. If you are experiencing discomfort, improve your technique. If discomfort continues and affects your ability to do daily tasks, seek medical attention.
Implementing these ergonomic principles can help you prevent musculoskeletal disorders. Take a look at the way you work and the way your workstation is organized. Watch for bent wrists, dangling feet, work surfaces that are too high or too low, excessive reach, awkward postures, poor lighting that makes you squint or adds glare to your monitor screen, and how you lift heavy or bulky items. Pay attention to the repetitiveness of job tasks and how you move your body as you work. Are you in a natural alignment? Are you using proper lifting techniques? Is your body supported while you work? Is your workstation organized so that items you use frequently are within easy reach? Are you taking mini-breaks to reduce muscle tension and fatigue?
Be responsible for your own good health. Exercise, proper nutrition and adequate rest can make a big difference in how your body responds to everyday mental and physical stresses. Find ways to cope with stress:
- Talk with friends
- Take a vacation
- Long walks
University of Michigan faculty and staff are taking responsibility to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. Remember – these disorders are preventable! Taking care of yourself at work helps you to enjoy the rest of your life!