In order to answer the question “Is your workstation set up correctly?” follow this simple guide below:
Firstly. Are you sat correctly?
Make sure your feet touch the ground. If they don’t reach or aren’t flat, try using a box/ large book to support them. This ensures your posture muscles aren’t strained throughout your working day.
Your back should be positioned straight. If you find yourself sat at your desk for prolonged periods of time, we would recommend investing in an ergonomic chair to support your posture throughout the day. Ergonomic chairs help you stay comfortable and productive at your workstation, usually modular and built to your specification.
Your arms should be flat on the desk. Use your desk to support the forearm, keeping hands level and straight. Whilst your arm is positioned comfortably by your side, the nerves aren’t being compressed. The more you stretch it out to the side, the greater chance you have of straining your neck or shoulder. Whilst typing, place fingers lightly on the keyboard buttons. Try not to hold the mouse too tightly.
There has been a substantial increase in musculoskeletal complaints. More than half of the IES Institute for employment studies survey respondents described new aches and pains, particularly in the neck (58 per cent), shoulder (56 per cent) and back (55 per cent), compared to their normal physical condition.
Is your workstation set up correctly so you are facing the screen?
The way you are positioned may be one of the main reasons why you have a sore neck. Ensure your eyebrows are in line with the top of your screen, preventing you to slouch over to view the screen. Your screen should be an arm’s length from you with your fingers able to touch the screen. Additionally, make sure your characters on the screen are sharp, in focus and don’t flicker or move. If they do, the display screen equipment could need servicing or correcting. During software set up, choose text size that is large enough to read comfortably, and alter the brightness controls to suit lighting conditions in your room. Choose colours that are comfortable to read (avoid red text on a blue background, or vice versa).
Is your workstation set up correctly to take regular breaks
Whilst many believe that home workers don’t work half as hard as they did in the office, in our experience it’s actually more difficult to provide boundaries between work and home life. If you are working from home due to Covid-19, ensure you set yourself specific timings that you will be at your desk, allowing you to have a free evening like you normally would whilst working in an office. Additionally, make sure you get up and have a walk round every couple of hours. Walk to make a phone call or make a cup of coffee, however, don’t try to work for hours on end standing up. Whilst working, give yourself breaks from typing. Voice recognition is beneficial for most text and emails. This gives your arms, wrists and hands time to rest.
Use the 20-20-20 rule
After 20 minutes of working at your desk, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It takes roughly 20 seconds for your eyes to relax. Research has proved that taking common breaks to look at faraway objects during screen time significantly reduced their eye strain symptoms. In other words, the 20-20-20 rule works.
Symptoms of eye strain typically include:
- dry eyes
- watery eyes
- blurred vision
- doubled vision
- soreness in the neck, shoulders, or back
- sensitivity to light
- trouble concentrating
- difficulty keeping eyes open
There are also free apps like Eye Care 20 20 20 that can help.
If you/ your staff are working from home, the Should Out Safety Course Some of the things you’ll learn with Shout Out Safety are quite straightforward; sitting at your desk correctly, resting your eyes and making sure you position your monitor so you’re not under any strain. There’s plenty of advice on other good habits that you’ll need to consider too.
This course is in 4 sections which cover the following topics:
- What is Display Screen Equipment?
- Injuries associated with poor use of DSE
- Best practice in using DSE
- Eye problems associated with DSE and how to avoid them
- Using mobile and handheld DSE
There are 4 banks of questions which you will need to answer. Achieve the pass mark and you’ll be able to move onto the next section. There’s a certificate to download or print off at the end.
When do I get my certificate?
Unlike many e-Leaning courses, you’ll get you certificate immediately after you pass the course. It will be in your name and you can download it as soon as you’ve watched all the clips and successfully passed the tests.
How long is this course going to take?
We suggest you allocate 30 minutes. It’s short but it contains the essential information you need to know.
How is the course delivered?
The course is presented as a set of four short video clips. Simply press play and the first clip will be shown. Watch it, concentrate on the information and after the clip finishes there will be a set of questions for you to answer on the information you’ve just watched.
Is there a pass mark?
Yes. Every set of questions requires you to get 75% to move on to the next clip.
Can I re-sit the test?
Yes you can. If you don’t get the 75% pass mark you can re-sit the test but the questions are likely to be different to the ones you just attempted.
Can I watch the clip again?
Yes you can. As many times as you want to.
Can I fast forward through the clip?
No, we’ve disabled that facility. When we were setting these courses up we looked at some other e-Learning courses out there and found out we could fast forward to the end of each section. In our opinion, that’s no way to learn. This stuff is important and could save lives and stop accidents and injuries – that’s why we make sure that you have to watch the video through to the end.
Why are the courses delivered by video?
Watching moving images and swiftly decoding the messages within, is second nature to us all. The average viewer in the UK watches more than 3 hand a half hours of TV a day. What better way to receive information whilst at work? But there’s another key reason. On average video learners score 37 percent better than text learners on a post-training test. On retention tests given a few days following the training session, video learners’ scores were 45 percent greater when compared to the text group. (University of Twente, 2012)
Training by video is simply a more effective way to learn.
Is the video just someone talking at me?Nope. We create scenarios, we interview victims and medical experts, we show what you should be doing and a lot of the things you shouldn’t be doing. We make these videos as entertaining as we can. When you’re entertained, you’re concentrating. That’s key. We also use a professional crew and the outstanding actor, Mark Roper.