Arthritis affects over 2.5 million Canadian workers regardless of their age or
gender. The joint pain, discomfort, and disability that come with the disease
can make work difficult. Here are some tips to help manage arthritis and
protect your joints while at work.
A well-organized work environment can help you work more safely and
efficiently, and at the same time minimize your joint pain. It may also improve
your stamina, concentration, mobility and agility as well as decrease anxiety,
stress and fatigue.
Tips to help you organize your work environment:
Arrange your work space so that commonly used items are within easy reach.
Use a chair mat to make it easy to slide or turn your chair.
If you stand a lot at work, try to arrange your workspace so that you can stand
square to your workstation and avoid bending or twisting.
If you have to stand for long periods of time on hard flooring, use rubber
matting or anti-fatigue matting to relieve strain on your lower back and legs.
To reach items on high shelves use a step stool to reduce the strain from
over-reaching and arching your lower back.
Use knee pads when kneeling.
Make sure the temperature in your work area is comfortable.
Ask your employer if door knobs can be replaced with levers (it is easier on
the wrist to push down on a lever than to twist a knob).
Good posture can help you maintain energy levels throughout the day. Here are
some tips to improve your sitting posture:
While working at a desk, sit in a comfortable chair that supports your lower
and mid-back (make sure the backrest meets the small of your back) as well as
your thighs and - uttocks.
Make sure the chair is a comfortable distance from the computer to avoid
Sit upright with square shoulders. Your shoulders should be relaxed but not
slumped. Your hips and knees should be at 90 degrees.
Adjust the height of your chair if necessary so that your feet are flat on the
floor - you don't want your feet dangling. If you can't lower your seat, use a
footrest. Your - ips should be slightly higher than your knees so make sure
your footrest isn't too high. It may be necessary to adjust the desk height as
Make sure your chair seat is level or sloping slightly upwards at the front -
Check that your armrests are at the right height - if you have to hunch your
shoulders then the armrests are too high, but if your elbows don't reach them
they are too low. Your elbows should be at a relaxed 90-degree angle to the
keyboard and your back should be straight.
Change your body position often. For example, stand up or stretch if you have
been sitting for a while. If you need to, use a timer or software program to
remind yourself to switch positions.
AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety