Describe one or more potential solutions for an employee who is experiencing the onset of back pain after working at his or her workstation that primarily requires the employee to work in a seated position.
Possible causes of back pain for an employee who works in a seated position are poor posture and/or poor ergonomic design. Awkward postures can increase strain on the back muscles and bend the spine in a manner that puts strain on the disks. Therefore, the first potential solution would be for the employee to sit in a proper posture(Doyle, 2018). Their hips should be either equal or slightly higher than their knees, and should be pushed backwards so that the back rests on the backrest of the chair. Tense sitting positions in which the employee leaves their back unsupported only puts prolonged tension on the muscles. Additionally, the employeeshould avoid the crossed legs position and prolonged sitting(Guarino, 2010, p.59).
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The other potential solution is designing the employee’s office in accordance with standard office ergonomics. This includes adjusting distances and positions of the eyes-to-the monitor or source, the input devices such as mouse and keyboard, body-to-chair, and feet-to-floor(Al-Otaibi, 2015). The configuration of the chair is particularly important as it affects the posture of the user. Hence, an adjustable chair would serve as a probable solution since it would allow the employee to fine-tune it according to their best sitting position. The desk can also be modified to suit the users, for instance, by including an adjustable keyboard tray that slides under the work surface(Chebykin, Bedny, & Karwowski, 2008, p.20). In general, all potential solutions would rely on the principles of good ergonomic workstation design.