Four Exercises to Prevent Back Pain

By Ryan Fogel,

woman stretching back on ground

Whether in the office or at home, the average person spends close to 10 hours sitting per day. This can lead to an array of aches and pains. As discussed in our blog post about the most common injuries for desk workers, a desk job can be hazardous without proper ergonomic equipment. Below are four exercises to prevent back pain. Before beginning these exercises, do some slow stretches, and stop immediately if any pain occurs.


Lumbar rolls

Begin by laying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms stretched out. Roll your knees to one side, then slowly to the other. You should aim to hit 10 per side.


Butterfly Stretches

Either standing or sitting, place your palms on your shoulders, with your elbows facing out sideways. Slowly move your elbows towards each other, stretching the upper back. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times.


Knee to Chest

Lie on your back, and using both hands slowly pull your knees into your chest. Hold for a few seconds, then return to your starting position. Repeat 6 times.


Wall Push-Up

Stand roughly a foot away from a wall and place your hands on the wall in push-up position. Gently lean forward, then back, completing the push-up. Repeat 12 times.


While these exercises can help prevent or reduce back pain, for even more comfort and protection, an ergonomic workstation is the way to go. Here at Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can help you ensure a safe, stylish, and ergonomic space- whether it’s at home or in the office. To learn more, or to set up an evaluation, contact us!

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention
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Preventing Eye Strain While Working

By Ryan Fogel,

Preventing Eye Strain While Working

Computer use among office workers has increased tremendously over the last 10 years. This has resulted in increased eye-related problems among employees. While this kind of eye strain caused by computer usage may not be permanent, it can be over a prolonged period of time. Here are some tips to prevent eye strain while viewing your computer monitor:

Use an Appropriate Computer Screen

Use a large, clean screen placed on a flat surface. Your screen should have adjustable contrast and brightness options, as well as sharp images that are in clear focus displayed on the screen.

Improve Workstation Ergonomics

One of the most vital ergonomic factors that cause eye strain is the distance between the eye and the computer screen. Your workstation should be arranged to ensure that the computer screen is 18-30 inches from the eyes.

Reduce Glare and Reflection

A computer screen can reflect glare which contributes to eye strain. In conditions where there is glare, the eyes constantly adapt to the contrast between dark and light areas, which result in eye fatigue, migraines and headaches. Some easy ways to reduce glare in the office environment include:

  • Use curtains and blinds or tint windows to control the natural light coming through the windows.
  • Use darker partitions behind computer screens to reduce the contrast between foreground and background.
  • Reposition workstation or light source so that the light falls directly on the work surface.
  • Adjust general light intensity to suit the task that is being performed.
  • Use anti-glare screen filters.


Regulate Intensity of Lighting

Poor office lighting or lighting that is too bright increases the risk of eye problems. The best kind of brightness to work in is between 200-500 lux (measures the intensity of light). In spaces that have no other bright light source, the most appropriate lighting is around 300 lux. In an already bright environment, or with large contrasts in lighting, use brighter lights around 400 and 500 lux. Flickering lights from malfunctioning fluorescent bulbs should be replaced or maintained frequently.

Take Regular Breaks from Computer Use

To allow the eyes recover from strain, take regular breaks from staring at the computer screen to focus on distant objects. The 20/20/20 rule is recommended by clinical optometrists. This rule states 20 minutes break from computer use, looking at things 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds at a time.

Avoid Contact Lenses and Wear Glasses

Contact lenses have been found to increase the severity of symptoms of dry-eye syndrome – an eye condition that is common among office workers, with research showing that more than 40% of office workers experiencing dry eyes. The symptoms are found more in office workers who use contact lenses as the contact lenses cause friction if the eye is not well lubricated.

Employee Training

Employee training is important to provide adequate knowledge concerning eye strain or other eye problems. Some of these include taking regular breaks and performing eye exercises, as well as being able to make small adjustments to the work environment like adjusting the computer screen within appropriate distances to view properly.

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention
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Is an Ergonomic Keyboard Worth It?

By Ryan Fogel,

Is an Ergonomic Keyboard Worth It?

You’ve likely heard of all the various benefits that ergonomic equipment can bring. However, when we think of ergonomics, we often think of chairs. While ergonomic chairs are certainly beneficial, the world of ergonomics doesn’t stop there. Ergonomic keyboards can help you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and reduce pain and aches in your wrists and hands. Read on to learn more:

What’s the difference between ergonomic keyboards and normal keyboards?

Before we get into the benefits of an ergonomic keyboard, it’s important to note what makes them special from normal keyboards. A normal keyboard lays flat on your desk, with no elevation or place to rest your wrists. An ergonomic keyboard has these things and more. They are specifically designed to improve your hand, arm, and back posture.

Ergonomic keyboards come in the following forms:

  • Split keyboard
  • Contoured keyboard
  • Handheld keyboard
  • Angled split keyboard

Ergonomic keyboards are more comfortable

Because these keyboards are designed with ergonomics in mind, they’re more comfortable to use. You’ll find you’re able to type for longer periods with less discomfort as compared with a normal keyboard. They do this by properly positioning your hands, arms, and shoulders for optimal comfort and performance.

Increased typing speed

When you’re in less pain, you’re able to perform more efficiently. Since ergonomic keyboards are more comfortable to use, they help increase typing speed. This is especially beneficial to secretaries, assistants, journalists, writers, and other individuals who type for their jobs.

The price

At the end of the day, people have one question about ergonomic keyboards: are they expensive? Ergonomic keyboards are not out of the price-range for most workers or companies, but they are more expensive than normal keyboards. While the price up-front may be more, you will actually be saving money in the long run. This is because you won’t be paying for costly procedures to address issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

At Ergonomic Evaluations, we can help you find the best ergonomic keyboards and equipment for your office. Contact us today to schedule an ergonomic evaluation in Los Angeles, CA.

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Benefits of a Document Holder

By Ryan Fogel,

Through the course of workdays, office workers are required to manage and track documents. While this paperwork does not present any challenge, employees can greatly benefit from the use of ergonomic document holders.

While employers might try to let workers enjoy plenty of space, many workstations are still filled with different items that take up space. Papers, pens, and notebooks can fill a worker’s desk, and he or she might have to move awkwardly to grab specific materials. While these actions may seem to be nothing, repetition can lead to occupational health and safety hazards for both the employee and his or her company. Which is why a document holder is necessary.

What is a Document Holder?

A document holder is a tool that allows you to position a physical document that you refer to while working on your monitor screen in a way that allows you to see both the screen and hard copy document well.

Almost everybody who use computers on a daily basis at least occasionally have tasks that involve referring to a hard copy document while typing. In those times and when properly used, a well-designed document holder can be greatly impactful ergonomically.

With a document holder, you can avoid twisting the neck by bringing the hard document close to the monitor at a readable angle. This also reduces eyestrain by ensuring the document is kept at the same distance and angle as the screen. Most workers who use computers work with sheets and documents that they often place in front of the keyboard or beside it. This causes an avoidable curved spine posture. A document holder places the document 45⁰- 60⁰ angle between the keyboard and the monitor. When the holder is well placed, you can reduce or eliminate risk factors like awkward head and neck postures, eye strain, headaches, and fatigue and be more comfortable.

Improtance of Using a Document Holder

A document holder helps to avoid ergonomic hazards which include:

1. Neck twisting

When you position the document close to the monitor and in line with your eyesight as it runs from screen to keyboard, you can avoid unnatural twisting of your neck when looking between the hard document to the screen and back.

2. Unnecessary eye fatigue and headaches

If you use a proper document holder, the document is always at the same distance angle as the eyes from the computer screen. Assuming that you have set your computer screen at the optimal ergonomic distance, the document holder will keep the paper document positioned as ideally as possible.

3. Curved spine

In the absence of a document holder, you’ll lie your documents often beside the keyboard. To read the document, which in some cases contains smaller print or notes, you’ll have to bend forward with a curved spine, which is a posture that can lead to ergonomic problems.

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!


  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Products, Workplace Injury Reduction
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Improving Work Posture While Sitting

By Ryan Fogel,

On average, most of us spend up to 12-13 hours daily sitting in front of the computer. What we may not be aware of is just how much our poor posture is affecting our health. There are many negative impacts of poor posture on our bodies, including: rounded shoulders, potbelly, muscle fatigue in the neck and back, headaches, and other bodily pains.

Failure to sit properly can cause these ailments to become worse and potentially have life-altering side effects, such as a permanent change to your spinal cord. Poor sitting posture doesn’t just cause a temporary strain or discomfort, but long-term negative effects.

Tips for Better Ergonomics

To prevent chronic neck and back pain and other health issues that affect productivity, it is essential to practice better ergonomics. The term ergonomics refers to tailoring sitting and work tools to fit your body and improve health conditions. Here are some helpful tips that can improve posture and reduce pain in the body.

1. Practice Neutral Posture

The neutral posture is the natural alignment position of your back when sitting. If the natural alignment of the spine is compromised due to slouching, hunching, or injury, this can lead to spinal compression, nerve pinching, and muscle tension. To achieve a neutral position sitting at your work desk or at home, do the following:

  • Position your monitor at eye level, so you don’t have to tilt the head
  • Pull your shoulders back and let your back rest flat against the chair
  • Ensure your feet are rested on the ground without the legs or ankles crossed
  • Keep your upper back straight, use a lumbar support tool if necessary. This also prevents slouching.

2. Watch for Back and Neck Pain

Watch out for symptoms such as stiffness and soreness in you back, shoulders and neck. If you observe symptoms, ensure you make daily or regular notes to track any habit or routine that may be causing or contributing to your pain. Using this information, you can begin to make the necessary adjustments to your posture to effectively prevent any stiffness or soreness in your muscles while seated.

3. Give Yourself Movement Breaks

One of the major reasons why the work desk causes back pain and chronic diseases is because it limits your movement. Research has found that taking regular movement breaks every 30 minutes helps reduce the health risks posed by sitting for extended periods of time. It is vital to make time for scheduled breaks and good posture exercises during sedentary work.

4. Use Ergonomic Supports

It can be tough to maintain a neutral posture when sitting at a desk. It is difficult to remain in alignment due to years of poor posture habits. Thankfully, excellent support products make it possible to attain a neutral seated posture and build healthy ergonomic habits.

Some of these kinds of products include adjustable ergonomic chairs with headrests and lumbar supports, footrests, and workstation components like monitor arms, keyboard trays, and ergonomic mouse. A popular option today is the “sit-stand” desk, which allows switching between sitting and standing easily.

5. Create an Ergonomic Workstation

Set up an ergonomic workstation if you want to achieve complete body wellness. A properly set up ergonomic workstation will:

  • Allow for full range of motion
  • Have items placed at the correct distance to prevent reaching
  • Provide adequate leg room and foot placement
  • Alleviate hunched posture

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace. At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Risk Management, Ergonomics Training, Workplace Injury Reduction
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Why Ergonomics is Worth Investing In

By Ryan Fogel,

Ergonomics involves designing workplace stations with the use of human data to create an environment that is more suitable for working. To put it simply, you want a workplace designed according to the natural laws of the human body, so as to increase safety and comfort, and boost employee efficiency.

Ergonomic Assessments in the Workplace

Ergonomic assessments are done to minimize the risk of injury and maximize productivity. It is also done to support the return to work of a worker who is injured and needs to minimize workplace discomfort to recover faster from their injury and prevent aggravation. Workers who are remote also need to ensure their remote work environment is safe and ergonomically designed.

The first step to making your workplace more ergonomic is to hire an ergonomist to conduct workplace ergonomic assessment. These people have experience in assessing and identifying present and possible future problems and have the necessary skills to suggest solutions for any ergonomic issue they encounter. With the guidance of these health professions, you can decide what kind of actions to take; be it to organize a workshop to increase awareness, one-on-one assessments of employee to ensure proper ergonomic setup, or to determine the equipment or higher levels of control that an injured employee may require.

Once you have identified your ergonomic issues, it becomes easier to decide what needs to be implemented, whether that be to provide ergonomic equipment or make changes to an employee’s job duties. For example, concerning issues with high-task repetition, a simple solution is to continuously cycle employees between repetitive tasks.

Other Ergonomic Benefits

These days, ergonomic trends are moving away from trying to reduce musculoskeletal injuries to the many other business benefits ergonomic change brings. Good ergonomics has reduced worker compensation claims and increased productivity since workers are happier and healthier. It has also improved employee engagement and longevity at the workplace. People can notice when you invest in them and taking steps to improve their health and well-being, which shows you care about the working conditions of your employees.

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Assessment, Ergonomics Consulting, Ergonomics Training
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Desk Stretches for Workers Who Sit All Day

By Ryan Fogel,

Desk Stretches for People Who Work All Day


Many people spend hours sitting in front of a computer screen for their jobs. This can cause a tremendous amount of strain on our backs and shoulders, resulting in a variety of musculoskeletal disorders. Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent this. Installing ergonomic furniture and practicing desk stretches can dramatically decrease your risk of back and shoulder pain. 

Here are a few desk stretches you can use throughout your day to keep any back or shoulder pain at bay:  


One Arm Hug 

Lift up one arm and stretch it across your body so that your hand is either out sticking out to your side or is hanging over your shoulder. Then, using your other arm, hold it place for 30 seconds, repeating 2-3 times with each arm. For a deeper stretch, try pushing your arm closer to your chest.  

Posterior Shoulder Stretch 

Hold both arms across your body, with each hand on the opposite shoulder. Pull your elbows close to your chest and then twist your torso from side to side. 

Office Chair Back Stretch 

Reach both hands behind the back of your chair and try to interlock your fingers. Hold yourself in this position for at least 30 seconds and repeat for 5 times.  

Calf Raises 

If you are able, get up out of your chair and, while standing, stand on your toes. Roll back down onto your heels and repeat this process 20 more times. 

Wrist Stretch 

Press your palms together in front of your chest and hold in place for 15 seconds. Then, reverse your hands so that that backs are pressed against each other, again holding for 15 seconds. Repeat this at least 5 times. 

Desk stretches can help prevent workplace injury, but they’re not the only things you can do. Installing ergonomic office furniture can do wonders for the health of you and your employees. Contact Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants today to learn more! 

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention
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3 Ways to Relieve Back Pain at Work

By Ryan Fogel,

3 Ways to Relieve Back Pain at Work

Have you ever felt that tight, sharp pain in your lower back after hours of work? You’re not alone. Back pain is an unfortunate consequence of many modern-day jobs, and it can severely harm your work performance and health. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can relieve your back pain at work.   

Get up and move around  

Humans are born to be active; we’re not built to sit for long hours of the day. We need to get up and move around, and while this may seem difficult for stationary workers, it’s not impossible. Set a reminder for yourself to get up and walk around for at least 60 seconds once every hour. Take longer walks during your lunchbreak and, if you can, try doing some of your work while standing up (for example, instead of emailing a coworker, walk over to their desk and talk to them).   

Pay attention to your posture  

Take a moment right now and check in with your body. Are you slumped down in your chair? Are your shoulders raised towards your ears? We often don’t pay attention to how we’re sitting throughout the day, causing neck and back pain later on. So, take some time to check in with yourself. Straighten your back, lower your shoulders, and raise your chin to give your body some relief.  

Set up an ergonomic workspace  

An ergonomic workspace is key to preventing and relieving back pain. Use lumbar support for your lower back and adjust your chair height so that your feet lay flat on the floor. Also, check to ensure that your monitor is slightly below eye level to prevent yourself from hunching over or raising your head.  

Here at Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we provide plenty of ergonomic furniture to help you live a more ergonomic lifestyle. So, contact us to have us evaluate your workspace today! 

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention
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By Ryan Fogel,

Due to the recent coronavirus pandemic, more and more companies are requesting their employees work from home. It is estimated that one-half to two-thirds of the existing labor force is performing their job duties from the comfort of their own living space. However, as telecommuting becomes the new normal and telework increases in popularity, a new issue now arises: creating an ergonomic workspace at home. It is imperative to create a space that allows a worker’s body to maintain a neutral posture, especially for a work at home employee. Cumulative damage on susceptible body parts such as the back and wrists can occur when working on non-stationary equipment, including laptops, cell phones, and tablets.

An ergonomic work environment is often overlooked in telework. It is not uncommon for telecommuting employees to report soreness and pain, as they are not provided proper instruction on how to set up their space ergonomically to decrease discomfort. In fact, the importance for remote workers to have an ergonomic workstation at home is not emphasized enough. An employee who frequently works on their bed is more likely to suffer from repetitive stress injuries than an employee who has been given guidance on the importance of utilizing ergonomic equipment and having an ergonomic set-up.

To prevent work-related injuries and discomfort while working from home, it is important to maximize ergonomic safety and utilize ergonomic equipment. When telecommuting equipment such as a laptop riser, an external keyboard, and an external mouse is recommended. An ergonomic office chair is also recommended for use at home to maintain a neutral seated posture and prevent damage to an employee’s upper body.
While it is impossible to completely prevent injuries from happening, it is possible to lessen susceptibility with the proper guidance and the correct ergonomic equipment. If you are experiencing work-related pain while telecommuting, ARC can provide aid and recommend potential solutions. An ergonomic evaluation can be performed via web chat to inspect your home workspace and determine the equipment and adjustments necessary to allow you to work safely and comfortably at home.

To schedule an evaluation or for any additional questions, please contact ARC at 323-930-6599 or

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury, Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Products
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Ergonomic Computer Workstation Setup

By Ryan Fogel,

Prolonged and repetitive work at your computer workstation, poor posture, lack of proper equipment and incorrect ergonomic information are all contributing factors to an improper computer setup which can lead to computer-related injuries. Computer-related injuries cover a wide variety of injuries and health problems caused by or exacerbated by computer usage. Many computer-related injuries can prevented by simply setting up an ergonomic computer workstation.

In setting up your ergonomic computer workstation, the goal is to set it up so you will be able to reach your entire work area (including your phone, computer keyboard, computer mouse, frequently used office supplies, etc.) without having to strain or twist your body. Today, numerous Universities like Cornell, Stanford, UC Davis, University of Virginia, UCLA and others have done intense studies highlighting the benefit of ergonomic computer workstations and the dangers to workers’ health arising by not following certain guidelines.

General Guidelines on Setting up an Ergonomic Computer Workstation

The following are general guidelines based on this research on how to set up an ergonomic computer workstation at the office or at home:

  1. The chair is key to an ergonomic computer workstation because sitting, in an office chair or in general, is a static posture that increases stress in the back, shoulders, arms, and legs, and in particular, can add large amounts of pressure to the back muscles and spinal discs. That is why it is important to use a good chair with a dynamic chair back that supports your lumbar region and adjust the height so your feet are flat on the floor. This keeps the knees and torso at roughly the same height. To find this height, stand by the chair and raise or lower the seat pan to just below your elbows bent between 90 and 110 degrees to promote good low back health.
  2. Adjust the chair armrests so that your shoulders are relaxed and your elbow bends at around a 90 degree angle. Use of an armrest on your office chair is important to take some of the strain off your upper spine and shoulders, and it should make you less likely to slouch forward in your chair. However, if your armrests are in the way, remove them temporarily.
  3. Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a stable footrest to help reduce strain on back and neck muscles.
  4. The top of monitor casing should be 2-3″ (5-8 cm) above eye level and centered directly in front of your face (preferably no more than 35 degrees to either side). If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor to a comfortable reading level. This helps reduce the risk of eye strain and awkward positions.
  5. To determine the proper distance for your monitor, sit back and extend your arm. The tips of your middle finger should land on your screen – between 20 and 40 inches (50 and 100 centimeters) from your face. Laptop users may want to consider height adjustable laptop stand, which can accommodate a variety of workers and work postures.
  6. Make sure there is no glare on screen. If necessary, place screen at right angles to windows, adjust curtains or blinds or use an optical glass anti-glare filter. Don’t forget to adjust the vertical screen angle and screen controls to minimize glare from overhead lights.
  7. Use an inline copy stand to position source documents directly in front of you, between the monitor and the keyboard. If there is insufficient space, place source documents on a document holder positioned adjacent to the monitor.
  8. When using a keyboard/mouse/input device, your wrists should flat and straight in relation to forearms. You can also alternate left and right-sided mouse usage to reduce the effects of repetitive use.
  9. Position your keyboard about 1 to 2 inches above your thighs and in a place where your arms and elbows are relaxed and close to body. This way, you are not extending your arms too far forward or bending your elbows too far back to type. To reach the keyboard, your forearms should bend no more than 20 degrees above horizontal (if sitting) or 45 degrees below (if standing).
  10. Center the keyboard in front of you, so you are not reaching to one side or another to type. And, position the mouse near the keyboard, so it is easy to transition from typing to mousing. Ideally, your keyboard and mouse should be shoulder-distance apart and as level as possible.
  11. Use a negative tilt keyboard tray with an upper mouse platform or downward tiltable platform adjacent to keyboard, so that your arms and hand follow the downward slope of your thighs.
  12. Use a stable work surface and stable (no bounce) keyboard tray.
  13. Place your telephone within easy reach. Telephone stands or arms can help. Use a headset or speaker phone to eliminate the awkward posture of cradling the handset.

Setting an Ergonomic Computer Workstation Alone is Not Enough to Prevent Injuries

Setting up an ergonomic computer workstation is not enough to assure the reduction of computer related injuries. You also need to take frequent short breaks (microbreaks) at least once every hour to give your eyes and muscles a break. This helps prevent eye strain and muscle fatigue. Take time to stand up, stretch and move around. Get up and get a glass of water, get some office supplies you need from the cabinet or make a phone call. Try to stand as much as possible when on the phone to help stretch out your muscles and vary your posture. Frequent microbreaks are as important to your health as any other part of an ergonomic computer workstation because they keep you awake, productive and healthy and keep you from developing Deep Vein Thrombosis and other conditions arising from not varying your posture often enough.

This OSHA Ergonomic Solutions checklist can help you create an ergonomic computer workstation. If you have questions or need further assistance in setting up your ergonomic computer workstation, call Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants at (323) 930-6599


  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Consulting
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