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Spot the office pain, and fix it fast

The first sign of an injury is often an ache or pain.

And at your workstation, there are many aches and pains which can be relieved by simply changing your working posture or work patterns.

Here are some of the most common aches and pains, and some simple tools on fixing them fast.

Body part fatigued Common contributing factors  What can you try
Back of neck Looking down at documents or keyboard Use a document holder. Improve keyboard skills. Check screen height.
Side of neck Looking to one side Locate documents and screen directly in front of you
Top of shoulders, outside or front of shoulders Keyboard too high, arms unsupported Raise chair, use footrest, rest palms on front of desk, reduce desk height (if adjustable)
Lower back Inadequate lumbar support Adjust back rest height and angle to give firm support, remove arms from chair, remove obstructions under desk (eg drawers)
Upper back Twisted posture Sit straight-on, locate documents, screen and keyboard in front of you
Right arm or shoulder Arm outstretched unsupported Move mouse closer, use single surface desk
Left arm, shoulder or neck Reaching for telephone or cradling telephone on shoulder Bring phone closer.  Use headset.
Leg discomfort, swollen feet Underside of thighs compressed against chair seat Use footrest or reduce desk and chair height
Headaches Posture, visual problems, noise, stress, glare, high work load Rearrange work area; re-direct traffic; screen filter; close blinds; shut door; vary tasks; take micropauses; smooth out work flow; reduce time on computer; eye test.
Eye fatigue, temporary short sightedness Visual problems, screen too close, poor image quality, glare, screen reflections Rearrange work area; screen filter; close blinds; vary tasks; take micropauses; eye test.
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