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What is Ergonomics?

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.

Helpful Hints 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 more information.

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