Despite technological advancements in electronic document management, statistics have shown that there has been an increase in paper usage and many office workers still use physical documents throughout their work day. For computer users, these documents are often positioned at unnatural angles either to the side of the computer or even under the keyboard. From an ergonomic perspective, working in these positions poses a credible risk to your health and wellbeing. Working with documents in such a position places strain specifically on your neck and upper back. Shocking statistics on neck pain indicate that office workers are one of the primary groups that suffer from neck pain. A desk document holder or stand that is suitable for A4 paper, will go a long way to alleviate such pain.
If you work with paper documents, one of the best ergonomic accessories you can get is a desk document holder, or stand.
What is a document holder?
A document holder is a simple piece of equipment that can save your neck (literally), and at the same time boost your productivity.
Most desk document holders are made from formed plastic and are about the size of A4 paper. Typically they fit either between your keyboard and monitor, or over your keyboard and in front of your monitor. The surface of the document holder is usually slanted at a readable angle and they may be height adjustable. This enables you to keep the papers you need close to yourself, and the monitor. Document holders allow you to:
Why is a document holder important?
Working with documents that are placed flat on your desk and to the side can:
As shown above, a “poor working posture” results when you work in a awkward position with a curved spine. The constant ‘neck twisting’ and un-natural arm position away from the body, can result in muscle fatigue in your neck, shoulders and arms.
Using an A4 document holder not only makes working easier, it also makes it healthier. Because document holders assist you to work in a correct posture, they can reduce or eliminate risk factors such as:
A good A4 document holder can also increase your productivity. It keeps your papers closer to eye level and your screen, preventing breaks in your attention by having to look down or to the side. Document holders also add structure to your work and free-up space to create a work area that is clean, neat and organised.
The Pros of a document holder
Karo is the exclusive distributor of the Microdesk™ document holder in South Africa. Developed by physiotherapist Sarah Mahoney and endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association, the Microdesk™ is the ultimate ergonomic accessory for keyboard work.
Published: 4 February 2021
Author: Philip Wichmann
Director at Karo Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd