Archive for November, 2012

Preventing Repetitive Stress Injuries- Work Ergonomics

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 by admin

Over the years, technology has become such an integral part of our lives. We can easily spend a few hours on the computer doing work, searching on the internet, and/or socializing with family/ friends through social networks.  As we spend more and more time at the computer, we become more susceptible to neck, back, wrist, and hand injuries.  “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly two-thirds of all occupational illnesses reported, were caused by exposure to repeated trauma to workers’ upper body (the wrist, elbow or shoulder).”   As a result, many of these individuals require rehabilitative services in order to remediate or alleviate the symptoms of these repetitive stress injuries.  Some common repetitive stress injuries are carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis, and tendinitis. Work Ergonomics is the study of how people interact with their physical environment while at work in order to minimize injuries. The use of workplace ergonomics can help reduce the incidence of repetitive stress injuries at work. Here are a few tips to consider when setting up your computer workspace:

  •  Computer Monitor- Try to make sure that the monitor is at eye level or just below it
  • Good Posture- Try to maintain the head and neck in-line with the torso
  • Maintain shoulders relaxed while typing (avoid hiking up your shoulders- it will increase the tension around your shoulders, neck, and back)
  • Keep your elbows close to your body and supported (you can rest your elbows on the chair’s armrest for support)
  • Keep your lower back supported (you can use a pillow or a backrest for lumbar support)
  • While typing your wrists and hands should be in-line with your forearms (you can use a wrist rest/ cushion to maintain the alignment)
  • Maintain adequate room between the keyboard and mouse while typing to maximize ease and comfort
  • Always maintain your feet flat on the floor; if this is not possible adjust the seat height or use a stool to prop your feet on

 The list above, listed a few simple ways to reduce the likelihood of incurring a repetitive stress injury. If you already have one, seeking therapeutic services can help you: strategize to prevent further injury as well as remediate and/ or alleviate the symptoms of them.

 By: Esther Gonzalez, M.S. OTR/L Bil TSHH

Senior Partner

Adapting Spaces, LLC.