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Office Ergonomics Awareness Christina Robertson Office of Risk Management and Safety.

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2 Office Ergonomics Awareness Christina Robertson Office of Risk Management and Safety

3 Today’s Topics Computer Workstation Ergonomics Risk Factors Types of Injuries Workstation Design Exercises Back Injury Prevention Proper Lifting Techniques Exercises

4 Ergonomics The relationship of people to their tools, tasks, and environment Tools are designed to fit the employee Today’s discussion will focus solely on office tools, tasks, and environment

5 Buzz Words Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs) Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) Repetitive Motion Injuries(RMIs) Problems of the muscles, tendons, or nerves of the neck and upper limbs that are caused, precipitated, or aggravated by repeated movements or exertions of the body.

6 Key Concepts Neutral Posture (GOOD) Defined as the position our bodies take in the absence of gravity (e.g., in space) Position in which repetitive stress injury is least likely to occur Static Positions (BAD) Muscles become fatigued when blood flow is reduced

7 Office-Related Risk Factors Repetition Sustained static exertions Forceful exertions Localized contact stresses Posture

8 Common Injuries Carpal Tunnel Syndrome When lining around tendons is inflamed, there is less space for the nerve and it becomes compressed.

9 Common Injuries Back pain Eyestrain Shoulder tension Headaches

10 Workstation Design Chair Monitor Keyboard Mouse Desk

11 Chair Choose one with maximum adjustments and simple controls Height Seat depth Seat angle Lumbar support Arm rests Tilt

12 Neutral Postures Include Sitting Head balanced naturally over shoulders (not protruding in front of body) Shoulders relaxed, not hunched Forearms and thighs parallel to the floor, at a 90  angle to upper arms and lower legs

13 Chair Adjust so Feet rest comfortably on the floor or are supported by foot rest Lumbar region of the spine receives support (don’t sit on the front edge of chair) Backs of legs are supported Armrests support shoulders and arms You are comfortable

14 Monitor Positioning Directly in front of body About 18-30 inches away from body (arm’s length) Top of monitor about eye level, or slightly below

15 Keyboard Trays Keyboard tray with adjustability (swivels left and right, tilts forward and back, allows for mouse, extends to different heights and positions) Position so wrists are in neutral posture

16 Neutral Postures Include Wrist posture Wrists straight, not bent or twisted

17 Keyboards Several new styles of keyboards Designed to promote neutral posture

18 Mouse Should be at the same level and distance as the keyboard New mouse designs (e.g., trackball) require less index finger work

19 Desk Least flexible component Obtain accessories to make due with existing furnishings If able to purchase new, look for designs that will allow correct monitor, keyboard, and mouse positioning

20 Other Accessories Wrist rest Should be Used only during pauses, not during typing Gel material should be resistant to permanent indentations

21 Other Accessories Document holder Should be Adjustable Mounted to monitor

22 Other Accessories Telephone Head Set Prevents neck extension while cradling telephone with shoulder Speaker Phone

23 Other Accessories If you have trouble keeping your feet on the floor, try a foot rest.

24 “Could Be Better” Designs



27 Good Postures


29 “Could Be Better” Posture


31 Minimizing Static Positions Change Positions Frequently Take breaks from repetitive tasks to work with other equipment and muscles htm Exercises

32 Exercises Should be done regularly (i.e., daily) to enhance strength and promote flexibility Do not induce pain! If you have CTD or other injury, seek medical attention before beginning exercises

33 Hand Squeezes Place ball in palm of hand Gently squeeze the ball, contracting muscles of forearm Repeat 8-10 times Repeat with other hand

34 Wrist Curls Make a fist Slowly flex and extend wrist Perform 8-10 times

35 Shoulder Presses Stand in a pelvic tilt position Slowly press shoulders backward Slowly press shoulders forward Repeat 8-10 times

36 Shoulder Rolls Stand in a pelvic tilt position Slowly roll shoulders backward 8-10 times Repeat in the forward position

37 Shoulder Shrugs Stand in a pelvic tilt position Slowly bring shoulders toward ears in a shrugging motion Slowly return to starting position Repeat 8-10 times

38 Range of Motion Stand in a pelvic tilt position Raise arms to the side Slowly circle arms forward Repeat 8-10 times Repeat, circling arms backward

39 Wrist Circles Circle hands at the wrist 8-10 times Repeat in the other direction

40 Prayer Stretches Place hands together in a prayer position Gently press hands together Hold for 3-5 seconds Repeat 5 times

41 Opening and Closing Fingers Gently extend fingers Return hand to closed position Repeat 8-10 times

42 Flexing and Extending Wrists With hands in neutral position, slowly flex and extend wrist Repeat 8-10 times

43 Back Injury Prevention Back injuries are the most costly type of injury experienced by the A&M System Correct lifting procedures and proper strengthening exercises can help prevent injury

44 Neutral Postures Include Standing posture Keep your spinal column aligned in its natural curves Prop one foot up on a stool to reduce stress in your lower back

45 The Back Is designed as support Protects the spinal cord Provides flexibility to rotate and bend Is not meant to lift Injury is rarely caused by one event

46 Proper Lifting Techniques Lift the load mentally Is it big, bulky, or heavy Do I need help with it? Can I carry it in smaller segments? How should I position my body in relation to the weight? Can I slide it instead of lifting? Push, don’t pull!

47 Proper Lifting Techniques Check footing for a good surface and wide base of support Bend knees, rather than back, to get close to the object Tighten stomach muscles Lift using legs Keep the object close to the body Pivot Maintain the back’s natural curves Breathe

48 Improper Lifting Techniques Do not Lift from the floor Twist and lift Lift with one hand (unbalanced) Lift loads across obstacles Lift while reaching or stretching Lift from an uncomfortable posture Fight to recover a dropped object Hold your breath while lifting - GET HELP

49 Exercises for the Back Poor flexibility in the low back and hamstring areas is a major reason that individuals develop low back pain If the limited movement capability of the low back is diminished, the chances for injury are increased greatly.

50 Hamstring Stretch Lie with feet flat on the floor Gently bring one knee to chest (1) Hold for 10-15 seconds Press heel toward the ceiling until a gentle stretch is felt (2) Hold for 10-15 seconds Repeat with other leg

51 Lower Back Stretch Lie with feet flat on the floor Gently bring one knee to chest Hold for 10-15 seconds Repeat with other leg Repeat with both legs

52 Pelvic Tilts Lie with feet flat on the floor Contract abdominal muscles, pushing back to the floor Hold for 3-5 seconds Repeat 8-10 times

53 Standing Pelvic Tilts Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent Contract the abdominal muscles, tilting the hips forward slightly NOTE: This exercise is good to do while working

54 Abdominal Crunches Lie with feet flat on the floor Keep knees bent Raise shoulders off the floor by contracting abdominal muscles (keeping lower back on floor) Begin with one set of 8- 10 repetitions

55 Shoulder Lifts Lie face down with hands on chest Keep head in line with spine by keeping eyes down Lift shoulders off ground Hold for count of 5 Repeat 5 times

56 Opposite Leg/Opposite Arm Lie face down with hands above head (a pillow may be placed under the forehead) Lift opposite leg and arm at the same time (keeping head down) Hold for count of 5 Repeat 5 times

57 Conclusions If you are experiencing symptoms of CTDs or RSIs, see your doctor Take an active role in designing your workspace to prevent injuries Strengthen and improve flexibility Put practices to work in office and at home


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