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ERGONOMICS Making Your Computer Workstation Fit You University of Northern Iowa EH & S Training Program.

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Presentation on theme: "ERGONOMICS Making Your Computer Workstation Fit You University of Northern Iowa EH & S Training Program."— Presentation transcript:

1 ERGONOMICS Making Your Computer Workstation Fit You University of Northern Iowa EH & S Training Program

2 2005 Web Based Training was Created for UNI Employees with the Intent to: l Expand general awareness of existing environmental, health and safety policies and procedures l Provide useful information to assist in evaluating and improving each work environment l Assist in determining the need or desire for more advanced training

3 2005 This training is intended to educate employees of the University of Northern Iowa who work at computer workstations the majority of their work day. INTENDED AUDIENCE

4 2005 Table of Contents Click on a link to go directly to that section. What is ergonomics? Why is an ergonomically correct workstation important? What are common injuries and symptoms associated with an ergonomically incorrect computer workstation? How can you prevent injuries? Where can you find items to make your workstation ergonomically correct?

5 2005 What is Ergonomics? Ergonomics is the study of work and the physical work environment. It involves fitting the workstation to the person who uses it to create an ergonomically correct workstation. Back to Menu Back to Menu

6 2005 Why is an Ergonomically Correct Workstation Important? An ergonomically correct workstation will help to prevent bodily injuries that occur over time due to poor posture, repetitive motion, poor workstation design, or improper lifting. Back to Menu Back to Menu


8 2005 Common Injuries Occur To: l fingers l hands l wrists l elbows l upper arm/shoulder l back l eyes Although some injuries are only short-term, many result in long-term damage, which are known as Cumulative Trauma Disorders.

9 2005 l Carpal Tunnel Syndrome l Tendonitis l Chronic back pain l Eye strain Cumulative Trauma Disorders & Other Common Problems

10 2005 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

11 2005 Tendonitis

12 Back Pain

13 2005 Eye Strain

14 2005 Symptoms of Common Problems l Localized pain l Numbness l Tingling sensation l Stiffness l Swelling l Loss of coordination If you experience any of these symptoms over a period of time, please contact your supervisor to fill out a First Report of Injury form and see a physician. Although not all aches are Cumulative Trauma Disorders, early intervention is the key for effective treatment. l Deep ache in muscles l Weakness l Focusing problems l Headaches l Double vision



17 2005 l Two types of posture cause fatigued muscles and can lead to pain and damage. ÙAwkward posture: an unnatural, uncomfortable position ÙStatic posture: sitting in a fixed position for a prolonged time period l Your goal is to have a neutral posture that will allow your head, neck and back to be in alignment. You may need to adapt your workstation to allow for proper posture.

18 2005 l Good posture is easy to identify. Have a co-worker look at your posture while you are seated at your workstation. l Correct posture includes: Ù Head positioned comfortably above spine Ù Neck elongated and full Ù Shoulders relaxed and back Ù Chest slightly forward Ù Lower back tucked in Ù Feet rest flat on floor Correct Posture


20 2005 l Tasks that require repetitive motion may not seem risky, but damage can occur over time. Ù Examples: typing, reaching, or twisting l Reduce repetitive motion by: Ù Rearranging the workstation so that frequently used items, such as the phone or printer, are close by. Ù Combining tasks to eliminate unnecessary steps, such as extra reaching and twisting. Ù If you cannot change a task to reduce repetition, make sure that you take frequent mini-breaks. Just a quick stretch will allow muscles to relax.


22 2005 Chair l Sitting in a chair is two times harder on your back than standing. l Adjust your chair so that you can sit in a neutral posture. l Proper chair adjustment will decrease the risk of back pain and muscle fatigue.

23 2005 WORKSTATION DESIGN: Adjust Your Chair Now 1. Adjust the chair height to be comfortable relative to the work surface height. Also, try to minimize bending and reaching by setting the chair at an appropriate height. 2. Adjust the backrest so that the chair will support your lower back, which is called the lumbar spine. You may need to use a lumber support pad if your chair does not provide adequate back support. Lumbar Support Pad

24 Adjust the seat pan so that it is tilted slightly backward to make sure you that you sit all the way back in the chair. Do not allow the chairs edge to place excess pressure behind the knee. Seat Pan 4. Your feet should rest comfortably flat on the floor with your knees bent at a ° angle. If your feet cannot reach to rest on the floor, you should use a foot rest.

25 2005 Monitor l Proper adjustment of your monitor can help to minimize your chance for neck muscle aches and eye strain. l If you wear bifocals or trifocal lenses, check with your doctor to make sure they are appropriate for computer work.

26 2005 WORKSTATION DESIGN: Adjust Your Monitor Now 1. Position the monitor directly in front of you. 2. Position the top of the monitor either at or just below eye level. 3. Adjust the monitor so that the distance from your eyes to the screen is between inches "

27 2005 Light l Proper lighting at your workstation is essential. l Glare on the monitor is a major cause of eye strain. A glare will look like bright blotches of light on your screen. l Sources of glare: Ù Windows Ù Lamps Ù Overhead lights, Ù Extreme screen contrast

28 2005 Light l You might need to rearrange your workspace to eliminate glare on your monitor. l Consider getting an anti- glare screen cover if the glare irritates your eyes and you cannot eliminate it. l Too little light is just as bad as too much light. You may need to add a lamp if the light in your work area is too dim.

29 2005 Keyboard l Injuries can occur from extended periods of typing. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can affect computer operators. l Proper keyboard placement, along with hand and wrist alignment, will help to minimize the chance for an injury to occur. l In addition, touching the keys lightly when typing and using two hands for double key operations will help to minimize strain on the hands and wrists.

30 While sitting in your chair, bend your arms at a ° angle keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides. 2. Position the keyboard so that it is approximately at the height of your elbows and directly in front of you. WORKSTATION DESIGN: Adjust Your Keyboard Now ° Angle & Tucked In

31 2005 Using a padded wrist rest in front of your keyboard will help to keep your hands, wrists, and forearms in alignment while you type. Wrist Rest 3. Place your hands on the home keys. Your hands, wrists, and forearms should be in alignment and parallel to the floor. 4. Adjust your chair height if necessary. If your feet are not flat on the floor after adjusting your chair, obtain a foot rest.

32 2005 Mouse l As with any repetitive motion, extended use of a mouse can cause injury in your hands and wrists. l Position your mouse at the same height as your keyboard and within normal reach. l Be sure to keep the trackball clean for efficient use and less strain on your hand and wrist. l Take mini-breaks. Stretch your hand and wrist during periods of extended use to relieve tension.

33 2005 Document Holder l Use a document holder when doing data entry to keep your neck and shoulder muscles from getting fatigued. l Documents should be positioned at the same height and adjacent to the screen.


35 2005 l Using improper technique to lift heavy objects can cause back pain. l Even if you do not lift often, use proper technique when you do lift objects in order to prevent injuries.

36 Stand close to the object. 2. Stagger your feet and bend at the knees to lower yourself to the level of the object. 3. Grip the object and use your leg muscles to lift. 4. If you need to turn, pivot with your feet. Do not twist. 5. When walking, take small strides. 6. When at your destination, stagger your feet, bend at the knees and slowly lower the object to the desired space. Proper Lifting Technique


38 2005 l Exercising regularly to keep your body in shape can help prevent many types of injuries. l Regularly stretching and flexibility exercises will help to decrease the risk for the injuries described in this training.

39 2005 REVIEW: How Can You Prevent Injuries? l Use correct posture l Minimize repetitive motion l Design an appropriate workstation l Utilize proper lifting techniques l Exercise regularly

40 2005 Where Can You Find Items to Correct Your Workstation? l Campus Supply or local office supply stores carry workstation accessories. l Items you may want to consider include: Ù Lumbar supporter Ù Foot rest Ù Document holder l Remember that all requests must be run through the appropriate department approval process. Ù Anti-glare screen overlay Ù Keyboard wrist rest Back to Menu Back to Menu

41 2005 For assistance in having a more in-depth ergonomic analysis of your workstation… l Have your Supervisor/Department Head contact Dean Shoars at

42 2005 Remember… Your workstation should be designed to fit you!

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