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Maintaining Health And Safety With Extensive Screen Time


Ever since the pandemic started, we haven’t been able to escape our screens. With endless social media scrolling, watching trending TikTok videos, and working from home, there’s been a constant strain on our eyes that probably won’t go away for a while. If you’ve also been bent over your computer or phone working continuously till the late hours of the night, it’s likely your health is being affected.  


Man sitting in desk working from laptop


Digital devices are a great tool; they have all kinds of info open for access whenever you want and provide comfort and convenience. But ever since people have been working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sudden increase in daily screen time. While this measure helps overcome the problems of containing the contagious virus from spreading, there are still certain concerns associated with it.

This is why professionals have been witnessing a rapid increase in work-related health issues that happen due to working from home.  Some people like to sit on their couches, positioned a few inches away from their screens tapping away at their keyboards while some feel more comfortable on a desk.

Whether you like to work from your kitchen counter, your bed, or the sofa, the possibilities of developing musculoskeletal problems with extensive screen time dramatically increase. This is the very reason people are flocking to a chiropractor to find some relief.    

Many people aren’t aware of how to maintain their health while working remotely. Small work-related injuries, if left untreated for too long, can become severe. Chronic ailments include upper and lower back pain, eye strain, and psychological stress.

Are you concerned for the health of your workers and want to help them alleviate any work-related injuries during their remote work? Here are a few things that can help.

Risk Assessment to Ensure Safety for Employees

If you have a bunch of employees complaining about backaches and eye strain, it’s time you figure out a solution for them.

Employers must conduct a risk assessment of the workplace and work environment for their employees. According to DSE legislation, this is an obligatory step needed to ensure the health and safety of your employee. In case, the employer is somehow unable to perform a proper risk assessment, there are a few other routes to take.

  • Ask the employee to conduct a self-assessment of their work environment and equipment at home.
  • Provide proper training and information to the employee about a safe working environment. This will help them make improvements and any required changes to stay safe during work hours.
  • Take action to eliminate any hazardous elements that can potentially harm the health of your employee.



How to Carry Out a Proper Risk Assessment

According to the Management of Health and Safety Work Regulations 1999, for a proper risk assessment, the employers must carry out the following steps.

  • Identify the origin and cause of injury or illness to your employee.
  • Assessing the risk of the hazard from every aspect and detecting the seriousness of the situation.
  • Taking appropriate steps to eliminate the cause of injury immediately and effectively.

There are multiple hazards your employees can face that put them in harm’s way. This could include lifting large stacks of papers, repetitive exposure to dangerous chemicals, or something that causes your employee work-related stress.

Being vigilant about more vulnerable employees like pregnant women and people with disabilities is also important to formulate a plan and carry out the proper course of action to eliminate any hazards.

The proper risk assessment is a necessary step to ensure the health and safety of your employees.



Tips for Work Efficacy

Once you’re done with the proper risk assessment for your employees, the next step is to provide training on the proper ways to work and maintain health. Here are a few ways you can help your employees be more productive at work.

Active Working and Frequent Breaks

Staying active and frequently shifting posture doesn’t just impact the metabolic activity, but also helps in the breakdown of fat, reducing blood glucose levels. Movement is also a good way to prevent developing backache because changing posture will reduce any extra strain on the back. Muscle fatigue, neck, and wrist strain are also dramatically reduced with constant movement and shifting of posture.

Our bodies aren’t designed to sit all day long and staying sedentary can cause a lot of harm to the body. Sitting for long hours day and night won’t just put stress on the back and neck, but cause the pain can also travel down to our feet.

It’s not uncommon for people to develop knots in their muscles that can only be pressed out with proper therapy and massage. Not only is there a tightness and pain in the neck muscle, but with time the muscles get weaker. If not properly addressed, these problems can become chronic ailments like hernias and bulging spinal discs.

Encourage your employees to spend two minutes a day doing some light exercise. This could include taking a walk around their homes, stretching their arms and legs, or doing some small chores like ironing or putting away groceries.

Everyday practice of changing postures and being aware of the body becoming stiff can help reduce any stress. Exercise isn’t just good for the body but is also beneficial for mental health. If you’re feeling down or losing motivation to work, moving around for a bit will put you in the mood to work again.

Discussing all this with your employees will help your employees stay safe and healthy.

File name: info-graph-for-proper-posture

Alt-text: An info graph for proper posture while working.

Hydration is Super Important

People often forget to drink water when they’re caught up with work. Quenching your thirst is another thing, but staying hydrated means drinking plenty of fluids to keep your mind fresh and active.

A lot of researchers say that staying hydrated reduces the risks of developing several infections and diseases. Staying hydrated is also important to keep the skin looking good and maintain the health of all our organs.

Ask your employees to stay hydrated by drinking good amounts of water. Encourage them to keep a water bottle always by their sides. Sometimes people are so engrossed in their screens that they forget about eating and drinking altogether. Setting an alarm to go off once in a while to remind them to drink water is also a helpful way to keep the hydration levels balanced.

Investing in a Sit-Stand Desk

A sit-stand desk is one of the most ergonomic and comfortable designs made to accommodate a person whether they’re sitting or standing. This adjustable desk can be lowered to better suit a person or raised if the person prefers to stand.

These desks are very beneficial for people when they’re working from home or the office because it reduces back pain. This desk also ensures the health of your employees because sitting for prolonged hours can make people irritable and uncomfortable.

Unchecked strains and bad posture can lead to chronic injuries that are extremely painful. But switching to a sit-stand desk can reduce the risk of any injuries.

Sit-stand desks also prevent obesity, which is very common with a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting at a desk all day can also increase lethargy and weaken the muscles, but with a sit-stand desk, any of these conditions can be prevented.



Setting up the Screens

People often complain about experiencing eye strain and neck pain when sitting in front of a computer. Small adjustments made to the ergonomics of a workspace can make a huge difference.

From the positioning of the screen to the viewing angle; everything impacts the body and it’s health. The physiological effects of staring at a computer screen include carpal tunnel syndrome, posture issues, neck pain, eye strain, etc.

Make sure your employees aren’t working with their chin tilted upwards, squinting into the screens, jutting their head forward towards their screens, or leaning on their desks. This can and will cause persistent back and shoulder pain.

Here’s the best way to maintain the ergonomics of a workstation.

  • Screen position: If someone has to tilt their chins or bend their necks to work, it is an obvious indicator that the screen is positioned incorrectly. Factor in the height of the person and position their screen accordingly. Keep the screen directly in front of the eyes to avoid twisting the back.
  • Optimal viewing distance – If the screen is too close to the face or too far away, it causes a lot of strain on the eyes. Finding the right position for the screen would mean minimum eye strain and better posture. For the most ergonomic screen distance make sure you’re aware of your ocular needs. The best option is to place your computer screen at arm’s length.
  • External light glare – Glares from other light sources like sunlight beaming through the windows or a glaring light bulb can cause additional eye strain. Tilt the screen away from light sources that can cause a reflection on your screen, adding to eye strain.
  • Optimum screen brightness: After you’re done setting up the viewing angle and the screen distance, take a look at the brightness of your computer screen. This also affects your eyes. Turn down your brightness levels because bright screens can be irritating to your eyes.



Reducing Neck Pain

212,000 people in Britain complained about having excruciating upper limb and neck issues in 2021. The main reason for the aggravation of neck pain is posture, a sedentary working style, and stress. Persistent rotation of the neck back and forth in the same direction can aggravate the tissues and joints in the area. This is the reason why people often feel muscle soreness and neck pain during work hours.

To avoid neck pain, make sure to set reminders to keep a check on your posture. Moving around and light exercise is recommended to reduce tightness in the muscles. Other things to avoid are endless scrolling on your devices while they lay flat on your desks, setting a limit for your daily screen time, and ensuring that there is arm support while you hold your devices.

Repetitive glancing at a screen and then tilting your head down to peek at a document also puts a lot of stress on your neck. Opt for a document holder to reduce the amount of head movement.

Using more than one screen for work can be another reason for developing neck pain. A helpful tip: identify the main screen and place it right in the front. This will enable the worker to comfortably shift glances between the two screens.


Creating a Stress-Free Environment

It’s important to keep a check on your employees’ health. We’re humans and not robots, so make sure not to set unrealistic expectations for your workers.

Physical and mental stress can be very debilitating. Creating a healthy working environment is very important to alleviate both. Encourage your workers to find a work-life balance. Recreational activities alongside work are super important to keep your sanity. Fun and relaxing activities like reading a riveting book, eating a wholesome lunch with colleagues, exercising, or going for a walk with a pet can keep the mind sharp and refreshed.



Spruce Up Your Office with Ergonomic Office Supplies

Now that you’re aware of all the reasons why having an ergonomic workspace is important for your health, it’s time to invest in high-quality ergonomic office supplies. Find the best furniture and supplies for your office made from recycled materials at Lbs Office. Our eco-friendly office furniture and facilities are developed to reduce the risk of work-related injuries and save the environment simultaneously.

Our office tables, pedestals, chairs, and desktop accessories are made with 100% sustainable materials. We believe in cutting down on plastic products and aim to help people mitigate the crisis of plastic pollution one day at a time.

Visit our website to learn more about DSE measures for health and safety and buy ergonomic and eco-friendly office supplies to ensure the health and safety of your employees today.


View DSE Catalogue here >>