Person wiping their keyboard clean with a wipe

Keeping your hands healthy in your office

08 May 2019

Although working in an office may not be seen as dangerous as other lines of work, one the most common problems for office workers is the risk posed to your hands.

As you or your team are likely to be working on a computer, you frequently use your hands to type, which can lead to hand and wrist injuries such as carpal tunnel or inflamed tendons. Read further to find out more about these injuries and what you can do to avoid problems.

Injuries to hands sustained in an office environment are usually down to repetitive tasks, constant or regular pressure on certain points or the way that we move our bodies.

Make sure that you undertake a Display Screen Equipment assessment, which can help you set up your workplace to avoid these issues.

Repetitive strain injury

As the title suggests, repetitive strain injury (RSI) happens when you repeat certain movements too frequently. RSI is sometimes caused by an underlying problem such as carpal tunnel where you will experience pain in your hand and wrist.

Symptoms of RSI include stiffness, pain, tingling, numbness, weakness or cramp.

Pressure wrists and elbows

Certain positions can put your wrists and elbows under strain whilst you are working, which can cause long term problems. Making sure that your work station, chair, keyboard and mouse are in the proper position will allow you to keep your wrists and elbows in a position that doesn’t put your joints under any pressure.

Unnecessary movement

Over stretching or twisting can cause injury to your back, shoulders, elbows and wrists. Make sure that if you need any equipment it is within a reachable distance that will allow you to get what you need without straining or twisting.

Knowing how to avoid injuries and knowing the signs can help you either prevent injuries to your hands or recognise when you may need to take a break.

Rest and relax

Your shoulders, wrists and arms should be as relaxed as possible, which will relieve tension in your limbs. This will greatly reduce the risk of injury through strain.

You should also take the time to stretch your muscles to keep them loose which will also help avoid injury.

Change positions

Something as simple as changing your body position throughout the day can be a preventative method against injuries to your hands. By keeping yourself moving you will make sure that there is a steady blood flow to all parts of your body, which can relieve symptoms such as numbness, cramps or pain.

Recognise the signs

The following symptoms are signs that you may be suffering from office related hand injuries:

  • Tingling joints
  • Pins and needles
  • Weakness
  • Inflammation
  • Joint pains
  • Stiff joints

If you are responsible for looking after employees in your business, make sure that they undertake a Display Screen Equipment assessment once a year to make sure that they are comfortable at their work stations.

You can also give your team regular reminders on keeping themselves healthy at work. Knowing how to avoid injuries can help you give advice to your team about looking after their hands at work.

Source: Zywave Inc. - Playing It Safe: Keeping Health Hands

Whether you require home office insurance or insurance for a large office premises, at Premierline, we can arrange an insurance policy perfect for your business.

Our insurance experts will assess your needs and find the policy that fits your business insurance needs. We work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurance companies to find you a competitive quote that is perfect for your business.

It is important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built. Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurers to ensure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business.
The information and tools contained in this guide are of a general informational nature and should not be relied upon as being suitable for any specific set of circumstances. We have used reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents but the information and tools do not constitute professional advice and must not be relied upon as such. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information or tools in our Insight Hub.