Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Get organised to get ergonised

What type of desktop do you have? I'm not talking computer screens here.. what kind of desk top do you have? Is it neat and organised or full of piled up folders, 4 empty mugs of coffee, Post-Its galore and a pen... somewhere?

It's often said that it is good practice to tidy your desk at the end of every day so that you can start the next day with a clean desk. I suppose it can almost be compared to washing up dishes at night. I like to have everything washed and wiped down, so that the next morning I don't have the heavy feeling of having to get through a pile of things before the new day has even begun! Surely greeting the work day with piles of folders and files suffocating your desk can't be a good thing. Not for the mind... nor for the body.

You've probably gathered by now, from monthly ergo tips on Facebook and these blogs, that extended reaching to get things off your desk can put extra strain on your shoulders, neck and back. Now imagine reaching out and holding that position for a minute or so while rummaging through piles of paperwork on your desk. More often than not, people plant their feet on the floor below their keyboard and twist in their seat to reach to the right or left of their desk. This can place a great deal of strain on the spine, especially if the end result is to lift up a heavy folder. So.. what can be done?

Organise your desk into different Work Zones...

1. Computer zone: Usually in the centre of the desk, the computer zone contains the keyboard, mouse and monitor.

2. Phone zone: Place the phone within an arm's reach, and in the area that you use it most. For example, if you always turn towards the partition for privacy, keep the phone on that side of the desk. However if you tend to write notes while on the phone, have adequate space near the phone for a notepad, and make sure you have clear leg room under the desk.

3. Paperwork zone: If you need to read or write notes at work, have a section of your desk allocated for that task. This would be the best place to put desk trays or a shelf for easy access of materials. The more things that you can offload from your desk to easily accessible areas, the more your body, and mind, will thank you.

How about you organise your desk today!

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