Ergonomics In Kirkland WA
Bourree Chiropractic, Laser & Massage wants to help you prevent future injuries. Dr. David Bourree has helped many individuals and work place environments understand the importance of proper ergonomics. If you or someone you know would like a workplace analysis on how ergonomics can help reduce work related injuries please call our office today.
Help us help you stay safe.
The Dynamics of Posture: Dr. Brian Paris at TEDxHoboken
Laptop Ergonomics - Basic Tips
Adult or Child Laptop Use at Home, Work or School
The study of the relationship between individuals and their work or working environment, especially with regard to fitting jobs to the needs and abilities of workers. The essential nature of ergonomics is the convergence of human biology (especially anatomy, physiology, and psychology of problems of Man at work) (New Scientist). – The World Book Dictionary Volume One A-K, 1983 Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Ergonomics is about organizing the workplace to fit the worker.
The origin of the work comes from Greek: “Ergon” is work and “Nomos” is natural laws.
This means re-adjusting your equipment and workplace to fit your needs, and becoming more aware of your posture in your work environment.
Why Should I Care?
- Having proper ergonomics at your workplace is crucial to having proper posture.
- To help prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- To help prevent other ailments such as headaches, eye strain, back and neck
- To help reduce stress
- To help increase productivity
Whether you work at a lumber mill or as a computer programmer, ergonomics plays an extremely important role in helping you to do your job efficiently as well as with the least amount of stress/strain on your body.
With the explosion in the use of computers or video display terminals over the last 20 years, much of ergonomics research has been focused on this area. In particular, how improper ergonomics can lead to visual problems and fatigue and musculoskeletal problems.
Special Note To Businesses: Dr. Bourree teaches ergonomics professionally in the work space for many large corporations and can come to your small business too!
Think It’s Not A Problem?
Ergonomics-related injuries still account for one third of all workplace injuries, and they result in the longest absences from work – a median of 27 days in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Puget Sound Business Journal, April 6-12, 2001
According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OHSA), 1.8 million workers have musculoskeletal injuries related to ergonomic factors, and 600,000 people miss some work each year because of them. The Seattle Times, November 12, 2000
“The consequences of these injuries are serious at work and at home. A worker with numb hands can’t firmly grip work tools or a toothbrush. A worker with an injured back can’t lift boxes at work or their children at home”.
Michael Silverstein, M.D.
Assistant Director, WISHA Services Division Department of Labor and Injuries – Washington
The Worst Jobs For Ergonomic Injuries
Occupation Number of Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Nursing Aides, orderlies, attendants 44,300
- Truck Drivers 41,700
- Non-construction Laborers 32,800
- Assemblers 17,900
- Janitors and Cleaners 14,100
- Registered Nurses 13,100
- Stock handlers, baggers 12,400
- Construction laborers 11,000
- Cashiers 9,700
- Sales supervisors, proprietors 9,300
Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics 2001
What Can I Do?
While setting up one’s workstation varies greatly from individual to individual, very general tips and guidelines should be addressed.
- Keyboards: Your wrist position is key
- Many agree that the ideal computing position is to be sitting upright or slightly reclined. Your shoulders should be straight, upper arms hanging straight down, close to your body, and elbows at a 90-degree or greater angle. Your forearms and hands should b flat and your hands relaxed……this leaves your wrists in a neutral position. There are various ergonomically designed split keyboards that are becoming increasingly popular that help with your wrist position.
- Mouse: Does it fit your hand?
- Not only do people’s hands come in all different sizes, so do mice. When looking for a mouse to purchase, look for one that isn’t too big or too small but one that fits snugly under your relaxed hand. The bottom of your hand should feel the mouse, and the point where your hand turns into your wrist should be on the table. Most importantly, it needs to fit well enough so you can click easily and know the click is successful. This helps to minimize stress on the wrist and shoulder. For those suffering form wrist and/or shoulder pain, there are foot-operated mice on the market that may be worth looking at. A gel wrist support could also be beneficial.
- Monitor: Eye level and minus glare
- If your monitor isn’t positioned correctly, your computer monitor can cause neck pain, shoulder pain, and eyestrain from glare. As a general rule, you should keep it in front of you such that you don’t have to turn your head either way to look at it straight on and it should be at an arm’s length in distance. Your neck should be straight, not leaning forward. The top of the screen should be directly level with your eyes. The monitor should be tilted slightly upward.
- Another important component to your monitor to consider is glare. Poor positioning related to your windows or lighting could result in eyestrain and headaches. Adding a glare filter to your monitor can also minimize the affects of improper lighting.
- Document Holders: An absolute necessity
- Using a document holder near the monitor near the monitor will help keep your neck in neutral position and helps you to avoid awkward straining.
- Chair: Most important component?
- A proper adjustable chair is the most important part of your workstation, because it affects your position more than just about anything else. You want a chair that allows you to customize the fit. A preferable chair is one that allows you to sit up straight or slightly reclined with your back snug against the back of the chair one that supports your low back comfortably. Your feet should also be flat on the floor or on a foot rest.
- Phone: Headsets save your neck
- Yes, that’s for all you office and tech support people. A headset is an absolute necessity if you are on the phone a lot. Taking steps to make your workstation ergonomically correct, but cradling the phone on your neck for long phone calls doesn’t make sense.
- Time Management: Don't just sit there...
- Our body is not designed to be in one place, doing one thing for long periods of time. So, it’s important to schedule breaks from repetitive activities and learn stretches that reduce fatigue in your muscles. As a general rule of thumb you should get up at least once every 1-2 hours and stretch and walk around a bit to keeps the circulation in your legs going. A great idea is to get up and get some water.
Where Should I Start?
There are a lot of resources at stores like Relax The Back Store, Office Max and Office Depot which carry a wide assortment of ergonomically correct products that will save you time and money in the long run.
For more information on ergonomics or to bring Dr. Bourree out to your workplace to help evaluate your workstation. Please contact us. We also have some excellent software in the office that can be purchased that will help you not only set up your workstation but also, it has settings that will help you to take breaks and run you through some stretches at the same time! Call for details.
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