Office Ergonomics with Dr. Carla Cupido
By Dr Carla Cupido • January 20th, 2010 • 5649 Views
Repetitive movements, awkward and static postures are the three major reasons for injury in the office. These reasons in combination provide an even greater risk of workplace injury. Such injuries can develop quickly; however, for many their onset is slow, ranging from weeks to even years. These symptoms often result in either chronic discomfort or pain, or an acute event that disables the individual for a few days and quite possibly a few weeks. Not only should we be wary of our muscles, but our joints, tendons and nerves commonly undergo injury due to the three reasons listed above. Unfortunately, we are good at ignoring subtle symptoms / warning signs while at work or school; there are too many silent, chronic sufferers out there.
Mitigate the risk of neuromusculoskeletal injury by establishing an ergonomic work/study space. This article highlights the important points pertaining to musculoskeletal injury from the Work Safe BC document entitled, “How to Make Your Computer Work Station Fit You”. The following topics will be discussed for you to safely align yourself with your workstation: posture, chairs, footrests, backrests, and armrests, screen height, viewing distance, dual monitors, keyboards, palm supports, hand driven computer devices, organization of work areas, and telephones.
¸ Keep your shoulders back; don’t let them roll forward
¸ Refuse to natural tendency to let your head drift forwards, towards the computer screen
¸ Forearms held horizontally, elbows bent about 90 degrees or slightly greater, with your shoulders and upper arms relaxed
¸ Wrists in a neutral (straight) posture
¸ Head upright over your shoulders in a relaxed position; eyes looking slightly downward
¸ Backrest supporting your lower back, pelvis, and lumbar spine lordosis
¸ Thighs resting horizontally with a 90-110 degree angle at the hips
¸ Feet fully supported by the floor or a footrest
¸ Seating that doesn’t adequately support your back may increase fatigue and contribute to poor posture.
¸ Seating that is too high or too low may result in symptoms in your neck, shoulders, back, or legs....