A young lecturer was suffering from severe headaches and neck pain which were were affecting her work and becoming a cause of absence.
As the headaches became worse towards the end of the working week and were less frequent on a weekend an ergonomic workstation assessment was undertaken. The ergonomic assessment showed the visual environment was a cause of problem due to glare and reflections from the position of the workstation, direct light through the windows, overhead lighting and reflective surfaces around the desk area. The chair itself was too big for the lecturer’s statue and she had not received adequate training in adjusting her workstation or chair to reduce postural strain.
Simple changes to the working environment including removing reflective surfaces from the desk, providing adequate blinds and altering the desking arrangement to minimise glare were implemented. Appropriate equipment was selected and training in chair adjustments provided. These changes together with advice on ways to eliminate awkward neck postures resulted in a gradual reduction of her symptoms over the following 6-8 weeks.