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What can cause a person to experience fatigue, pain and muscle spasms in the workplace if not corrected? 

Applying ergonomics in an office environment is simple and setting up your workstation only takes a few minutes and significantly reduces the risk of injury.

Monitor position: Centre the monitor directly in front of you to avoid twisting of the neck. Position the top of the monitor level with your forehead. Sit at least an arm’s length away from the screen. Adjust the height and distance of the monitor to suit.

Office chair: Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair and adjust the back rest to support the lower back. Adjust the seat height so your elbows are about the same height as your work surface (90°-110° elbow angle when seated). Your feet should be flat on the floor and your ankles, knees and hips, 90° when sitting. Use a footrest if your feet cannot rest flat on the floor.

Mouse: Your wrists should be in a neutral position (minimal bend in any direction at the wrist) when you use the mouse and your fingers should be able to rest on the buttons between actions. Make sure the mouse is as close to the keyboard as possible.

Organise your workstation: Position the keyboard directly in front of your body and at a distance that elbows are 90°-110° with your wrists and hands straight. Place your telephone to the side of your non-dominant hand and use this hand when answering calls. Place commonly used items within easy reaching distance and stand up to reach items too far away. Position source documents directly in front of you, between the monitor and keyboard using a stand. If using a laptop for long periods of time, consider the use of a separate monitor and keyboard.

Take breaks and alternate tasks.

Frequently change body positions while working or take 1-2 minute stretch breaks every 20-30 minutes to activate muscle groups and increase circulation. Always try to get away from your computer during lunch breaks and keep moving throughout the day as much as possible. Break up repetitive tasks such as prolonged typing with different activities that allow different movements like retrieving printing. Rest your eyes by covering them with your hands for 10-15 seconds.