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Ergonomics 101

 

Introduction To Ergonomics 101

 

Ergonomics is the study of the relationship between workplace designs and the capabilities of the human body. The goal of ergonomics is to design workplaces that allow you to perform tasks more productively and in a more natural position. Whether you're at the office, at home or on the road -- or cooking, gardening, knitting, or lifting -- ergonomics should play a key role in your life to improve your health, safety and productivity.

 

Ergonomics 101 is designed to help you analyze your lifestyle, make you more comfortable and above all, avoid Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) -- a painful injury that strains the musculoskeletal structure to the point of inflammation and damage. CTD occurs when the same task is incorrectly performed continuously and over a period of time. Once you have a fundamental understanding of ergonomics, you'll see how easy it is to redesign tasks, remove strain from the body and avoid CTD.

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From head to toe, sitting or standing, if you apply the right ergonomic solutions, including well-designed quality products, you're sure to improve your overall well being in every aspect of your life.

 

Why live with pain when you can become an ace student of Ergonomics 101 today!

 

 

 

Ergonomic Benefits

 

In the ergonomics world, one size does not fit all. What works for a tall person may not work for someone short, what works for an athlete may not apply to a couch potato. Whatever the body size, shape and personal limitations, the goal of ergonomics is to evaluate the total human being, both mental and physical, then apply sound principles to each individual's needs. Whether you're in the kitchen, working heavy machinery or sitting at a desk, the practice of good ergonomics will provide health benefits now and in the long run helping you feel more invigorated, comfortable and productive.

  Reduce Injuries, Injury Expenses And Personal Medical Bills
 

Ergonomic injuries are one of the easiest types of injuries to mitigate or prevent once you recognize and address symptoms early. While they are the most prevalent workplace hazard today, ergonomic injuries can be avoided if you establish an effective ergonomics program and promote awareness throughout your company. On the home front, remember good health means more freedom and energy to play, not to mention less visits to the doctor!

  Improve Quality Of Life
 

The bottom line is if you feel better, you'll be more motivated to do the things you enjoy in life. By avoiding awkward postures and motions that trigger ergonomic-related injuries -- often referred to as Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs) -- you will feel mentally and physically energized to perform your daily work and recreational activities. If you're working too hard and feel like you're in a rut, take a mental health day and plan activities you love to do ... it is sure to give your spirits a lift. It's much more refreshing than taking the day off when you're really sick and must spend the day in bed.

  Reduce Absenteeism
 

OSHA reports that CTDs account for more "lost time injuries" than any other single cause. To combat employee absenteeism and lost productivity related to workplace injuries, maintain a successful ergonomics program. Not only will your employees feel better, but you'll also have less no-shows.

  Lower Employee Turnover
 

Whether in the office or in manufacturing, training new people is taxing and can be added stress for everyone involved ... from employees filling in to those hiring and training. Proactive steps toward an effective program will help avoid injuries and keep turnover rates down. It will also decrease the time you spend training new employees and working overtime to do another person's job.

  Reduce Workers' Compensation Claims
 

There has been a 600 percent decrease in claim costs from local customers who attribute improvement to a successful ergonomics program. Numerous published statistics have shown ergonomic-related injuries to be the most manageable in terms of reducing frequency and severity of workers' compensation claims.

  Increase Productivity
 

Reducing the effort to perform a task equals an increase in productivity giving you more time to focus on yourself and your personal life. The equation is easy: a healthy body equals more freedom, more energy and more time to play!

  Boost Morale
 

With a visible and active ergonomics program, your employees will be more positive when they feel your concern for them. By implementing a strong ergonomics program and providing employees with personal attention to improve their comfort levels and ease of work, you can expect great improvements in employee morale. A proper ergonomic setup provides you with peace of mind, less stress and allows your body to relax and mind to focus

  More Energy At The End Of The Day
 

Reducing fatigue from activities means more energy at the end of the day. Whether you're cleaning, cooking, gardening, watching TV, playing on your home computer or knitting, take note of how long you sit or bend in an awkward position before you take a break. How you take care of yourself now plays an important role in keeping focused and energized throughout life. And while a properly fitted chair allows an employee who sits throughout the workday to feel significantly less fatigue, remember, ergonomics impacts every part of your body with whatever you're doing. So practice a little ergonomics ... it goes a long way.


 

 

Computer Workstations

 

An ache in your lower back, a pain in your neck, a cramp in your leg ... it's hard to believe sitting at your desk can cause so much pain. Bad body posture and repetitive movements can cause almost every part of your body to hurt and every aspect of your computer workstation setup can impact your comfort level. Continually reaching for objects, tilting your head to hold the telephone on your shoulder and resting your wrist on the sharp edge of your desk are just some of the ways pain is invited to knock at your door.

 
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Everyday tools in primary reach zone (18"-22") Less frequently used items in secondary reach zone (24"-36")

  Seating
 
    • Feet flat on the floor
    • Straight forearm
    • Support for lower back
    • No leaning forward
    • Thighs straight or parallel to floor and/or 10 degrees higher
    • Head over shoulders, shoulders over hips
  Monitor
 
    • Top half of screen at or above eye level
    • 18"-24" away (approximately arm's length)
    • 40 degree viewing angle
    • Clean screen
    • Minimize glare
  Keyboard Mouse
 
    • Elbow parallel to keyboard
    • Relax fingers and wrists
    • Wrists, hands and elbows parallel to floor
    • Relaxed shoulders, no slouching


 

 

Seating

 

We are not designed to sit ... we are designed to move. In fact, medical research over the past two decades has been fairly clear about the negative effects sitting has on our bodies such as decreased circulation and neck, leg and lower back pain. Knowing that you will most likely spend up to half of your day sitting, we offer the following information to help you obtain a proper chair fit and avoid potential health hazards. This information is so important OSHA provides key positioning tips to correctly support your body. Select a well-designed chair that follows ergonomic standards and is designed with special innovative features to reduce the fatigue and stress caused by sitting.

  It Is Important To Be Able To Adjust Your Chair To Ensure:
 
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  • your feet are flat on the ground (best to avoid crossing your legs),
  • your knees and hips are at about 90 degrees,
  • the curve of your lower back is supported
  • and the arms of the chair support your elbows comfortably.
  Chair Adjustments
 

Adjustments to the lumbar height and depth; the armrest height; and the overall height of your chair are important chair features. Additionally, adjustable lumbar support and a seat with a seat pan tilt is highly recommended. Every part of the chair should be fully adjustable with molded cushions that contour to your body and the cushions must compress no more than 1/2" to 1." The cloth must dissipate moisture and heat. Most importantly, all adjustments must be easily made while you are seated. These adjustments define an ergonomic chair.

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Make sure your chair has a "waterfall front" to ensure good circulation to the legs and reduce leg pressure (compression on the legs or thighs can reduce blood flow and cause varicose veins). A waterfall front is a rounded design that contours naturally to the shape of your leg. Also, be sure your chair has a 5-star base for safer seating and less risk of tipping. If you're stuck with an uncomfortable chair, then modifications can be made with adaptive seating cushions. (See Adaptive Seating)

  10 Steps For Easy Chair Adjustment
 

1. Adjust the seat height to promote blood circulation and to ensure you have a straight forearm and relaxed shoulders when using the keyboard and other tools. Keep your knees level or slightly below your hips. When possible, keep your feet flat on the floor.

 

2. Adjust the seat depth so you have approximately 2 to 4 fingers of space between the seat and the back of your knees. This provides proper thigh support and helps prevent varicose veins that can occur when there is compression on the back of knees.

 

3. Select a seat that provides enough seat width, allowing you ease of getting into and out of chair. When seated, if your arms are not relaxed naturally by your side then the seat is too wide. Either remove the arms to get proper seat size or get a smaller chair.

 

4. Adjust the backrest height to fit the curve of your back and provide your back with full contact support. This is key to a comfortable fit!

 

5. Adjust the back depth so it touches and supports your back as well as matches the curve of your back. Maximum back support equals less fatigue at the end of the day.

 

6. Adjust the lumbar support. Be aware of too much pressure to the lower back.

 

7. Rocking can reduce muscle tension. Adjust the rocking tension to your body weight to ensure you get the full relaxing benefit of rocking and still feel secure in your chair. Tip: If your chair rocks back and you feel startled, tighten rocking tension.

 

8. Use forward tilt when you're leaning over, writing or reading to provide relief to the lower back. Adjust the seat tilt angle to take pressure off the tailbone, ease shoulder tension, promote good breathing habits, relax shoulders and distribute your body weight more evenly on the seat.

 

9. Adjust armrest height. The forearm should be supported at a 90-degree angle from the upper arm keeping wrists, elbows and shoulders relaxed and in full contact with the armrests. Tip: If your shoulders are scrunched into your ears, then the arm height is too high.

 

10. Adjust your chair in a number of different settings throughout the day. It is not only healthy but puts you in control when other people "borrow" and re-adjust your chair.

 

Make sure your chair has a "waterfall front" to ensure good circulation to the legs and reduce leg pressure (compression on the legs or thighs can reduce blood flow and cause varicose veins). A waterfall front is a rounded design that contours naturally to the shape of your leg. Also, be sure your chair has a 5-star base for safer seating and less risk of tipping.

 

 

Adaptive Seating

 

We all do it at some point in the day, some of us longer than others. Long hours of sitting causes muscle stress and back, neck and leg pressure and most people do it the majority of their workweek. To relieve this pain and sit in a more comfortable, natural and correct posture, use adaptive seating to support your total body weight. Seat and back cushions are ideal support systems because they offer support to your specific body shape to ensure your body weight is evenly distributed. Adaptive seating is an ergonomics solution for the home, office or car and an ideal alternative if you have no choice but to keep an uncomfortable chair.

  Back Cushions
 

The lower area of the chair should provide full contact to support your lower back. Without this support, pressure is put on the lower back and travels all the way to the shoulders. Full back cushions also help keep shoulders in a natural position to reduce tension in the neck and shoulders. People find them useful for chairs, reclining lounges, and automobiles. Select a back cushion that encourages the 2-4-finger space between seat and back of knees. Some chairs are too deep and need a thicker cushion while other seats are too narrow, requiring a thicker back cushion.

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  Seat Cushions
 

Most of us sit rounded forward, hunched or slouched. This rounding magnifies your fatigue because you're reducing oxygen and circulation while increasing muscle fatigue. A angled wedged seat cushion that helps you sit forward engages a broader base of support for your spine and tailbone and also opens your chest promoting more oxygen into your system allowing relaxed, healthy posture and clear thinking. Along with enhancing the natural curve of your spine, an angled wedged seat cushion keeps thighs and muscles comfortably supported allowing you to sit longer without pain. Using adaptive supports solutions takes the discomfort out of dining room seating, bucket seats in cars and metal folding chairs.

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  Footrest
 

Keep your knees at a 90-degree angle and feet flat on the floor. If the height of your desk and chair does not allow you to place both feet flat on the floor, an adjustable footrest (or telephone book) will help you maintain the correct sitting posture.

 

Keep in mind, dangling legs encourages varicose veins. A footrest also eases lower back tightness by elevating your legs and supporting the feet and legs. Varied positioning on a footrest helps break up the static load caused by staying in one position too long.

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Keyboard Mouse Ergonomics

 

You're typing away and suddenly you feel a tingling sensation weaving through your fingers and all the way to your wrists. It goes away for a while but then the sensation returns for an unwanted visit, this time bringing pain as a guest. It could be that your hands and wrists have fallen victim to Carpal Tunnel, a Cumulative Trauma Disorder caused by performing repetitive tasks. Inside the wrist is a small channel known as the Carpal Tunnel formed by bones, ligaments, tendons blood vessels and a major nerve. Repetitive motions can put pressure and constrict this delicate channel causing painful tingling and numbing sensations throughout your hands, wrists and even arms. A few key adjustments to your workstation can help you avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other discomforts associated with the keyboard/mouse setup.

 
  • The Carpal Tunnel
 

Inside the wrist is a small channel known as the Carpal Tunnel formed by bones, ligaments, tendons blood vessels and a major nerve. Repetitive motions can put pressure and constrict this delicate channel causing painful tingling and numbing sensations throughout your hands, wrists and even arms. A few key adjustments to your workstation can help you avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other discomforts associated with the keyboard/mouse setup.

 
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  • Adjustable Keyboard Height
 

Use an height adjustable keyboard tray to ensure the keyboard and mouse are positioned at the correct height (approximately between 25" to 27" high for most people) and orientation (not sloping frontward). While seated, place hands on keyboard with level forearm and measure from floor to your elbow bone. That measurement is your ideal keyboard height.

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  • Keyboard
 

Feeling pressure on your wrists? It could be that your keyboard is angled incorrectly putting strain on your arms and wrists. When using your keyboard and mouse, keep wrists, hands and elbows parallel to the floor. To obtain this neutral position, lower the feet on your keyboard to place the keyboard as flat as possible and avoid flexing your wrists. Adjust chair height and use a footrest if needed to keep feet flat and supported. Place the keyboard directly in front of you. Use a wrist rest for added comfort and to help avoid the sharp edges of your desk. If you are dealing with pronation (hands angled out and palms down) using a split keyboard that has an angled height may give you some relief.

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  • Mouse
 

Keep your mouse immediately to the right or left of your keyboard and at the same level. Relax your fingers, hands and shoulders. Program your mouse to a faster speed so minimum movement is required to relieve hand and wrist tension. This is done with an existing software driver usually located in the control panels. Consider using an upright mouse to address pronation. For additional relief use a mouse that will allow right and left hand mousing.

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Neutral Zone

 

It's one of the simplest and most powerful ergonomic solutions! It's called the neutral zone. Take a few moments and look at the tools you use every day, phone, mouse, pens. Are they within 18" to 24" of your reach? If not, move them closer now!

 
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Reaching for things you use all day long can really have you contorting your body. A coffee cup placed awkwardly next to the monitor, a telephone at the far end of the desk, a daytimer always on the shelf behind you, reaching and stretching for commonly used items extends your arms and shoulders, twists your back and puts your muscles into a tight position.

 

Work stations with surfaces that "surround" you are ideal for correct neutral zone ergonomics. A surround desk provides up to 25 percent more workspace than a standard rectangular desk allowing you to place everything you need within arm's length. There is also a secondary neutral zone for items you use less frequently such as file organizers, 10-key, and reference books. These items should be placed 24 -- 36 inches to keep items close and still give you workspace (bring items closer when in use).

 

Sore shoulders, muscles, neck, elbows and lower back, you name it, reaching for things, affects your entire body. And the neutral zone doesn't just apply to your workstation, it applies to every activity you do. So start observing how you reach for things and remember the number one rule for items you use frequently -- keep 'em close!

 

 

Monitor Document

 

Do you ever find yourself squinting to read your computer screen? And then moments later you notice your neck and shoulders begin to ache? It could be your monitor is too far away forcing you to lean forward, your computer screen is dirty or a glare is blanketing your screen. The most basic ergonomic guideline to follow to prevent eye, neck and shoulder strain is to keep your monitor and documents at eye level, your computer screen clean and glare to a minimum. The top of the monitor screen should be at or slightly below eye level so you can read it without bending your head or neck up or back. Some people position the monitor by tilting it back 10-20 degrees. Be on the lookout for overhead monitor glare. Position the monitor directly in front of you within 18 to 24 inches (approximately arm's length away) from the eyes. Bifocals typically require a lower monitor.

 
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Stressed Posture

Neutral Posture

 

Did You Know...

Tip: Notice your body posture while at the computer to get the information on placement. A mirror will give you great feedback.

  Riser
 

If you're experiencing eye strain or neck and shoulder tension, it may be that your monitor is too far away causing you to lean forward or the monitor may be too close to you causing you to pull too far back. Position your monitor to the recommended height (at center of monitor or slightly below eye level). By placing the monitor at the proper height and proper depth, you will reduce upper body discomfort. Risers are an easy way to get height adjustment and storage for people sharing workstations. A monitor lift gives you quick adjustability and helps maintain your neutral zone.

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  Document Holder
 

Ouch. It hurts when you have to strain your eyes to read, not to mention the pain it causes in your neck when you're reading something on a flat surface. The key to avoiding eye and neck strain is to take documents off of a flat desk surface. For the most comfortable viewing results, place the document holder close to the monitor to minimize head movement and vision refocusing

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  Glare
 

Glare is often the culprit to blurred vision and headaches. How can you say goodbye to glare? Clean your monitor, adjust brightness and contrast levels, and make certain your monitor isn't backed by or facing a bright window or overhead lights, it is too fatiguing for your eyes. An anti-glare screen will also reduce glare as well as improve screen clarity.


 

  Lighting
 

Too light? Too dark? Neutral natural lighting is the key to keeping your vision sharp and headaches at bay. Use an adjustable task light that has a stable base and provides adequate light levels to read smaller print. Your light source should not reflect off of the monitor or shine directly into your eyes.

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Headsets

 
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Cradling a telephone between the ear and shoulder stretches one side of the neck and compresses the other and is tough on the muscles in the neck and shoulders and tough on you. Muscles have memory and when you spend 2-8 hours locked into this position day after day, they will hold this uncomfortable position, keeping your shoulders scrunched up around your neck. Use a headset to avoid head tilt and remain comfortable, especially if you answer the phone often while performing other tasks.

 

To avoid a painful crick in the neck and keep your shoulders from tightening up, attach a headset to your cellular or home phone. A headset allows you to be hands free, pain free and ergonomically correct. Whether you're cooking, gardening or on the computer, keep the cord from getting in the way by using a case or a clip. Cordless headsets are helpful for those conversations that require freedom of movement and an extra pair of hands while talking on the phone.

 

 

 
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Sit Stand Workstations

 

People who work standing often report feeling less fatigued and love the freedom of movement at their desks. It is an excellent way to balance the work demands and needs of your body movement. But don't overdo it ... standing continuously (particularly on a hard surface) may cause back and leg strain. Break up the day by switching on and off from a sit to a stand position to promote good circulation and relieve common discomforts. Because our days are busy, most folks need a very easy solution for changing desk height.

 

Sit stand workstations (which allow you to adjust your work surface either electronically or manually) are an ideal option because they adjust easily, promote healthy work habits and allow you to work efficiently whether you're sitting or standing. If you do stand a lot, give yourself the proper support and consider standing on an anti-fatigue mat to keep your circulation flowing. Use a footrest to rotate leg height and alleviate back pressure.

 
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  • Keep body in neutral position
  • Stand straight
  • Head directly over shoulder
  • Shoulders squarely over hips
  • Hips over knees
  • Knees over feet
  • Anti-fatigue mat provides cushioning [mats]
  • Footrest to rotate leg height and alleviate back pressure

 

 

Industrial

 

An industrial setting is quite different than a typical office setup, but the ergonomic principles you apply are equally important to maintaining good health.

 

Whether you're in a manufacturing, assembly or a warehouse environment, fatigue and back pain are probably ailments you have experienced at one time or another. As you may know, standing continuously on a hard surface can cause tight back and leg strain. To reduce the pooling of blood in the feet and take additional stress off the body, a cushioned anti-fatigue mat increases your comfort by greatly reducing fatigue. Another solution to reduce standing fatigue is padded or gel shoe insoles -- they are a simple and economical way to support a better work environment.

 

The neutral work zone is important in making sure you place tools and parts you require for specific tasks within arm's reach. This reduces stress to the neck, shoulders and back by preventing you from holding awkward positions while reaching repetitively for your tools. You can also tilt your work surface, reduce dimensions of the work surface and provide cutouts into the work surface to position your body for natural, neutral movements.

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  • Keep body in neutral position
  • Stand straight
  • Head directly over shoulder
  • Shoulders squarely over hips
  • Hips over knees
  • Knees over feet
  • Anti-fatigue mat provides cushioning
 

Lighting plays another important role in reducing fatigue. Proper lighting is not only much easier on the eyes, but it also ensures you won't have to bend over and hold an awkward position to see parts, tools or to read text.

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Increased lighting needs from age 25 on.

 

 

Anti Fatigue Mats

 

By the end of the day, that's all you can think about is sitting in the nearest chair. Your whole body aches ... for a place to rest. Standing for hours on steel or concrete will particularly take a toll on your back and legs.

 

For relief, use anti-fatigue or slip-trip mats for added cushioning, support and stability. Mats protect the body from hard floors and aid in relieving back and leg strain and excess tension on feet and leg muscles. They also decrease blood stagnation that causes varicose veins. Safety mats meet OSHA safety standards by visibly alerting workers to accident-prone areas. Mats also reduce workers' fatigue by 50 percent as proven effective in studies by the University of Michigan and Lougborough.

 
  • Anti-Fatigue
 

An anti-fatigue mat provides essential body support and cushioning to help you feel more comfortable, energized and productive throughout the day.

 
  • Slip-Trip Mats
 

A slip-trip mat is recommended in clean-up industrial areas to ensure safety, traction and drainage.

 

 

 
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Industrial Mats

Office Mats

 

 

Back Support

 

Many people think a back injury is caused by a single event ... probably not so. It's more likely the injury results from the cumulative effect of excessive sitting, standing, bending, twisting or lifting or more importantly, by performing these tasks without caution or proper guidelines.

 

Before you plunge into Hercules mode to lift a huge load, first think about the task at hand and consider if the load is even safe for you to handle alone. If it's not, team up with a lifting buddy. But if you can lift it alone, ask yourself if you're taking every precaution to protect the ever-important mainframe of your body -- your spine

 
      Your spine has a massive responsibility to support the rest of the body so you should do whatever it takes to protect it. It has three essential purposes: 1. Maintain the structure of your trunk and allow for body mobility 2. Protect the nervous system (spinal cord) 3. Act as a shock absorber
 

Go back and read these purposes again. Let us emphasize the huge responsibility of your spine to the rest of your body!

 

More than one million workers suffer back injuries each year accounting for one out of every five workplace injuries and illnesses. And back injuries are costly claims. They account for one-fourth of all workers compensation claims, costing businesses billions of dollars each year.

 

To properly align your spine and support your back's muscle groups during lifting and repetitive motion situations in a manufacturing, assembly or warehouse environment, support your back safely with a back belt. It is the perfect accessory to following proper procedures and preventing injury.

 

Other ways to keep your back safe and improve posture and to keep the natural curve of your spine intact is by performing a daily stretching exercise for the back. Warm up stretching will go a long way to reduce the incidence of back injury to the lower lumbar and abdominal regions. Try to keep loads below shoulder height or waist-high and remember it is good practice to lift with the load close to your body. Lastly, eliminate twisting motions, which places considerable stress on the spine.

 

 

Work Bench

 

In manufacturing and assembly environments, the Work Bench you use can especially impact your overall health. If you're experiencing sore arms and wrists, backaches and ongoing fatigue, it could be the Work Bench you're using defies simple ergonomic principles. The best advice is to use an Adjustable Work Bench that you can conform to your body with the proper working height (elbows at 90-110 degrees, torso as straight as possible and head not tilted in an extreme downward position). Just like at a computer workstation, keep the tools you use frequently within reach (i.e., in the neutral zone, 18-23 inches. Place secondary tools 24-36 inches.) Extended reaching puts an awkward strain on muscles and is a culprit of long-lasting pain.

 

If you use a computer, apply our recommended ergonomic setup: 1) Keep the center of your monitor at eye level and centered at your work space to prevent unnatural head tilting and angling while looking at the keyboard. 2) Keep your elbows level with the keyboard. 3) If you use a mouse, make sure it is next to the keyboard so you don't have to reach for the mouse.

 
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Repetitive Motion

 

You move your hand and wrist in the same movement all day, hour after hour. It's easy to imagine since it's a motion many of us who use a keyboard and a mouse experience every day. Initial discomfort seems like we're imaging it...almost. Then one day you notice an uncomfortable tingling and numbing sensation that won't go away. The repetitive motion has finally caught up with you and is now causing ongoing discomfort.

 

Performing the same continuous motions over a long period of time can cause long-lasting injuries ... and it's not just to your hands and wrists. Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) -- caused by repetitive motions -- can impact every part of the body depending on the action you're performing. Whether you're typing, cooking, shoveling or lifting, take simple steps to avoid CTD by following safe, natural and healthy guidelines

  Lifting
 
  • Face the object you are lifting with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Never over-extend your back, maintain a natural curve
  • Turn your whole body, not just your feet
  • Don't make sudden or jerky motions
  • Team up on heavy or odd-size objects
  • Avoid awkward positions when doing repetitive motion
 
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  Wrist/Arm
 
  • Neutral position (first illustration)
  • Wrists, hands and elbows parallel to the floor
  • Mouse at the same level and next to keyboard
  • Use a light grip when mousing or using tools
 
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Wrist Arm Motion

 

Occasionally, your wrists and arms feel numb; a tingling sensation begins in your fingers then persistent pain shoots from the tip of your fingers to the top of your shoulders. Sound familiar? It's possible you have the beginning stages of a condition called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, one of the most common and often disabling injuries experienced in today's computer-intensive workplace. Several factors put you at risk, including poor posture, lack of frequent, regular breaks, and an improperly set-up workstation (i.e., Is your keyboard too high, too low or excessively tilted? Do you reach for your mouse or grip it too tightly and continually reach for heavy items across your desk?)

 

While you may need medical attention or advice regarding your symptoms, there are steps you can take to improve the way you carry out repetitive activities. Think about the day-to-day motions you perform and evaluate if there is a safer method you should follow. Spend a few moments to make key adjustments to your workstation or consider the way you're holding or using a tool, cooking utensil, etc. Most importantly, if you currently feel any physical warning signs of pain in your hands, wrists or arms, please don't ignore them

  Braces For Wrist, Forearm, Hand
 

One way to alleviate the "pins and needles" sensation, along with the weakness and a limited range of motion you may be experiencing from performing repetitive motions is to wear a brace. Hand, wrist and forearm braces provide relief by stabilizing your movements and keeping the muscles in a neutral position. Night use is helpful because we are often unaware that we are sleeping with our wrist in an awkward position. By using a brace while sleeping, the neutral positioning encourages good circulation and provides a much needed break for the wrist muscles

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  Carpal Tunnel
 

Inside the wrist is a small channel known as the Carpal Tunnel formed by bones, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and a major nerve, which supplies sensation to parts of the thumb and fingers and supplies physical movement to part of the hand. Repetitive motions can cause pressure, swelling and constrict this channel causing painful tingling and numbing sensations throughout your hands, wrists, elbows and arms.

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Some conditions associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include pregnancy, renal failure and high blood pressure. Most common injury or trauma to the wrists, including repetitive movement caused by typing, gardening, painting, writing or using hand tools, can cause swelling of the tissues and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 

 

Anti Stress and Comfort Solutions

 

Keeping your personal space comfortable, safe and free of distractions is key to promoting a peaceful, stress-free environment. Even the way in which you sleep can make or break a healthy lifestyle. Body pillows, noise-masking techniques and soothing waterfalls can help you create a calm and energized feeling.

 
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  • Sleep on your back (if you sleep on your side, consider putting a pillow between your legs to help align your body)
  • Determine how much sleep your body needs
  • Create good sleep patterns
  • Special needs positioning
  • Neck support
  • Knee support
  • Routine sleep habits for most restful sleep
 
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