ERGONOMICS is the study of a
persons work environment in relation to the worker for the
purpose of achieving optimal efficiency and safety. Ergonomics
involves assessing things such as: body posture during job
tasks; length of time the worker maintains static postures; the
frequency of the task, as well as the strength and duration
required for certain tasks; work surface heights; reach
requirements; tool design; lighting; and temperature.
Who Needs Ergonomics?
Many people today have musculoskeletal disorders and
discomfort that can be improved through ergonomics. Through the
assessment process, a plan can be developed for the individual
worker. Typical issues to address are changes in equipment, work
techniques, or other health issues that may affect the worker.
Computers and Ergonomics
Many workers today could not
perform their jobs without a computer. Although computers are
wonderful tools, repetitive use and long hours on a computer
without using proper work techniques can lead to repetitive
strain injuries (RSI). Fatigue, soreness, and pain throughout
the body, including hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck,
back, hips, knees, ankles and feet can be the result. Caught
early enough, RSI pain and injury can be temporary.
At The Computer
Your chair should have a low back
support. A rolled up towel can help. Leave a few inches between
the back of your knees and the chair. Your feet should be flat
on the floor with your legs slightly forward. The B on your
keyboard should line up with the middle of your body and
monitor. Divert your eyes from the screen or close them every 20
to 30 seconds.
Need More Information?
The Occupational Therapy Department at San Joaquin General
Hospital has developed an ergonomic workstation assessment
program. Contact Jane Vink or Scott Cassinelli at 468-6292 for