With many people using the same computers, printers, copiers, and telephones every day, there are a myriad of diseases that can be caught at work if you’re not careful. And with the H1N1 virus in full swing right now, it’s especially important to keep the workplace clean. Here are a few tips to stop the spread of germs in the workplace: Wash your hands frequently, especially before handling food and after using the bathroom. It is recommended that you scrub your hands with soap and warm water for 10-15 seconds, then rinse well before drying with a disposable paper towel. Keep keyboards, phones, and copiers germ free by using disinfectant wipes to regularly clean items you share with others. Have your office dusted regularly. Dust and dirt can accumulate indoors, which pose risks especially to people with allergies and asthma. Make sure that your ventilation system is working properly. To prevent dust and dirt from settling on your keyboard you can buy a plastic cover fitted to your keyboard’s keys – they’re easier to clean, too. Make it a habit to keep a small bottle of disinfectant alcohol or hand sanitizer handy. If your office is carpeted, have it regularly vacuumed. Have the trash cans – preferably with lids – taken out and emptied every day. Simple illnesses such as common colds and the flu can spread very quickly in a workplace, so if you happen to get sick, do every one a favor by staying home – and come back only when you’re well. If you really must go to the office, avoid shaking hands with people and wear a mask or have a handkerchief or face towel handy for sneezing and coughing to help stop the virus from spreading. No one likes to be sick, and following these simple measures will help make your workplace a much healthier and cleaner place to work.
Carpal tunnel syndrome and eyestrain are two of the most common conditions that affect habitual computer users. Whether or not these conditions pose serious health risks remains a subject of debate, but it’s safe to say that no one wants to suffer them. Both conditions are painful, and can affect your productivity. The good news is that there are simple ways to prevent suffering from either condition. How to prevent eye strain: Never stare too long at your monitor. Blink occasionally and use eye drops to avoid dry eyes. Rest your eyes regularly for about 2-3 minutes. If you have time, take a power nap (5-15 minutes) – this not only gives your eyes a rest, but also gives your brain and body a well-deserved break. Use glare-resistant glasses or a glare reduction screen for your monitor. Avoid working in too-bright environments. Reduce the brightness of your computer screen. Place your monitor at least 20 inches from your eyes. If you can’t read the screen, increase the size of your windows. You may also want to visit an optometrist to see if you need glasses or a new prescription. How to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome: Adjust the height of your chair so that your arms and wrists are level with the keyboard. Move and click on your mouse lightly. Perform this wrist exercise several times throughout the day: Stretch your arms out in front of you, palms facing out – as if you were doing push ups. Hold for 5 seconds. With arms still stretched, straighten your wrists and relax you hands. After a few seconds, make tight fists and point them downward with your wrists. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat step 2. Let your arms hang at your sides and then give them a gentle shake Try incorporating these easy, quick, and safe tips into your daily routine. If they become habits, they’ll help you avoid the inconvenience and pain of carpal tunnel syndrome and eyestrain.