Office Ergonomics - Part 3

Prevent pain from occurring

prevent office pain and injury

Even when you have had your Workstation set up correctly, this by itself will not guarantee that you will be pain free, especially if you spend long hours at your Workstation!!

Some things that you can do yourself:

  • Swap your mouse over to the opposite hand each new week.Whilst this may feel a little awkward at first, keep persisting! It will give your "mouse dominant" hand and forearm muscles a much needed break.


  • Take a 5 minute "micro-break" away from the keyboard every hour. This allows your muscles to refresh their blood supply and will help reduce muscle tiredness and stiffness.


  • Take your "normal breaks" (morning and afternoon teabreaks and lunch break).


  • Drink plenty of water. Keeping our bodies (and muscles) well hydrated also helps our muscles to work more efficiently.


  • Breathe correctly. Good diaphragm breathing (belly breathing) aids in reducing stress and muscle tightness. For more information see the "Good Breathing" Article.


  • Stay Calm. Stress does make our muscles more tense as well as raising our blood pressure. For more information see the "Relaxing" Article (coming soon).


  • Do your stretches! If you do feel a tight or sore muscle make sure you stretch it out. The New Zealand "Habitatwork" website has a range of animated stretches for each different part of your body.


  • Try a regular massage! Massage helps muscles in so many ways by flushing out wastes, relaxing tired and tight muscles and also helps with your de-stressing.

Some other factors that you may need to consider:

There are also some other factors which you may need to take into account:

  • Work organisation: How work is arranged, delegated and carried out?
  • Task variability: How much variation of tasks are there in your daily work?
  • Work load: Is there sufficient time during the day to take mini-breaks?

(These are issues that you may need to discuss with your manager.)

For more information about all the Contributing Factors that contribute to Discomfort, Pain and Injury, visit the New Zealand ACC website.

Consult with your health Professional:

If you have done all the things suggested above and are still experiencing pain, then consult with your Health Professional. The golden rule with any Discomfort, Pain or Injury is "seek advice sooner rather than later!"


If you need to re-check your Workstation set up, then click on one of the following options:


  • For a quick five minute (self assessment): Click here
  • For Workstation equipment in more detail: Click here