Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DIY Ergonomics

According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, in 2008 work-related musculoskeletal disorders accounted for almost one third of all workers’ compensation claims (317,440 claims to be exact!) Each claim resulted in an average of 10 days out of work for the injured person and cost employers millions of dollars.

Here are a few easy tips you can use to make your work place a safer and more comfortable place.

Practice good posture

  • Sit with shoulders relaxed—not elevated, hunched or rotated. Keep elbows close to your sides and bent at about a 90 degree angle.
  • Wrists should be kept straight—which usually requires them not to rest on the laptop keyboard or the edge of the desk.
  • Carrying a laptop and other supplies around each day is hard on the body. Swap a shoulder bag for one that will distribute the weight of the load evenly.

Pull up a chair

  • Find a seat with lumbar support. It decreases the weight placed on your back when seated for long periods of time while supporting good lumbar posture.
  • Sit with your entire upper body upright or leaning slightly back.
  • Sit with your knees at the same level or slightly below the level of your hips. Feet should be slightly out in front of the knees and supported with a foot rest if necessary.

Get comfy

  • Ideal light levels for computer use are actually lower than the light required for reading. Keep overhead office lights slightly dim and use a desk lamp if you need extra light.
  • Keep space heaters and small fans on hand to allow yourself to adjust your workspace temperature as needed for maximum comfort and efficiency.

Don’t repeat

  • Take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks like typing, handwriting, using the mouse or using office equipment like staplers or anything with buttons.
  • Use pens with a large “Ergo” barrel to ease the task of writing.
  • Exercise your hand muscles and relax a bit between long periods spent typing or writing, by giving a stress ball a few squeezes from time to time.

If you do develop some ached or pains from your work don’t hesitate to come in and get checked for subluxations. The longer you wait to address these problems the longer they take to fix and that means a longer time before you feel better!

No comments:

Post a Comment