CBI Health Presents OFFICE ERGONOMICS
Presented by Mark Powell, HBKin RK Kinesiologist, Employer Services
Agenda Definition of Ergonomics Identify Common Ergonomic risk factors
Identify basic ergonomic design for preventing injury Identify how to properly set up your workstation Exercises
What is Ergonomics Greek Translation:
Ergo =work Nomics= natural laws of Literally means “The laws of work”
Definition “Ergonomics is the art and science of designing workplaces to match the capabilities and limitations of the human body. “ “Ergonomics is matching the job to the worker” The science of designing the job to fit the worker, instead of forcing the worker to fit the job It is how the human body performs work. It studies how muscles and bones work together, finding ways to prevent muscular skeletal disorders which cause pain and strain
2 Categories of Ergonomic Factors
Environmental Physical Environmental: effect hearing, vision, and general discomfort and health Examples: sick building syndrome Poor indoor air quality/ excessive noise/ improper light/ temperature extremes Physical: physical stressors place pressure or stress on parts of the body (joints, muscles nerves, tendons, bones) These injuries are sometimes refered to as cumulative trauma disorders or repetitive strain Work place injuries show up everywhere Hands, wrists, elbows &shoulders Backs, hips, necks, knees and ankles Muscle strains, tendonitis, carpal tunnel
4 Ergonomic Risk Factors
Repetitive Action Contact Stress Awkward Postures Visual Fatigue Repetition: actions you do over and over again Awkward postures: anything that puts you in an awkward position for any length of time Contact stress: prolonged pressure on any part of your body Visual fatigue: eye strain
Repetitive Action The same action repeated many times over an extended period causing trauma to the effected tissue Keystrokes Mouse movements Filing Stamping papers Repetition causes wear and tear to the tissue and Without time to heal, those tissues become inflamed and cause pain ie. Carpal tunnel Motions that would not result in injury if only performed once
Reduce the risk Take stretch breaks Alternate tasks Good posture
Light touch *Beware of cumulative risks
Awkward Postures Positions that involve bending twisting or reaching.
Makes muscles, tendons and joints work harder then necessary Increases potential for trauma Examples: Bending: leaning forward towards your screen Twisting: reading from copy while keying Reaching: long stretch to reach mouse or phone Awkward postures can cause pain because you tend to assume them frequently or hold them for a long time Workstation risks: think back to your workstation Does your chair fit in front of your monitor & keyboard Do your legs and knees fit comfortably under your work station Basic principle of a proper posture is to maintain the natural curve of the back. Without proper support it is easy to slump Your back likes a straight chair, with support for the lower spine. You can use a small pillow or rolled up towel We will learn how to properly set up work station in a moment
Contact Stress Prolonged pressure on part of the body
Compresses nerves and blood vessels Kneeling to file Resting wrists while typing Narrow chair These risks may be hard to recognize and are often missed until something starts to hurt or go nub 3 major offenders at desk top Front of work surface that holds keyboard and mouse The area at the front of your mouse where your palm hits the work surface The edge of your chair seat
Visual Fatigue Stress on eyes Factors effecting visual acuity
Eyes: visual acuity Lighting: glare, windows, room lighting Monitor properties: character size, color, brightness Monitor position: distance, height and angle Visual fatigue is related to other risk factors Ie. Awkward head posture can lead to visual fatigue or visual fatigue can cause you to assume awkward postures.
Reduce risk Eye Strain Remember the 20/20/20 rule Every 20 minutes
Look away 20 feet For 20 seconds
Work Smart Workstations
You can reduce ergonomic risks with good work station set up You spend a lot of time at your work station If you set up to minimize you ergonomic risksand work smart , you will make your work time more comfortable and productive
Desk organization & Positioning
1st look at your work station Chair should be positioned directly in front of monitor and keyboard
Guidelines for work reach zones
Primary zone: Frequent reaches (approximately 360mm) i.e.: phone, calculator, mouse Secondary zone: Infrequent reaches (approx. 500mm) i.e.: pens, paper, files Tertiary zone: Occasional reaches (approximately 700mm) i.e.: binders, books, pictures When you are arranging items on a desk how do you decide what should be placed near and what should be placed far? Document holder: if you work from a copy set up a document holder at the same hieght & distance as your monitor where you won’t have to twist your neck to read it. WHERE R THE THINGS YOU USE MOST!
Sitting Posture 1. YOUR THIGHS SHOULD BE PARALLEL TO THE FLOOR
Adjust the height and/or angle of the chair seat. Now look at how YOU and your computer fit together in the work space
Sitting Posture 2. YOUR FEET SHOULD LAY FLAT ON THE FLOOR OR ON A FOOTREST Adjust the height of your chair seat so that it is below or at knee height when standing.
Sitting Posture 3. BACK OF THE KNEES SHOULD BE CLEAR OF THE FRONT EDGE OF THE SEAT Adjust the depth of the chair seat so that you can easily place your fist behind your knee.
Sitting Posture 4. YOUR BACK: LOWER AND MID-BACK SHOULD BE WELL SUPPORTED Adjust the height, tension, and angle of the backrest, to ensure the lumbar support is positioned at your waist.
Sitting Posture 5. YOUR FOREARMS SHOULD BE SUPPORTED AND YOUR SHOULDERS RELAXED AT ALL TIMES The height of and distance between your armrests should allow freedom of movement for your forearms when performing tasks, yet provide support for them during rest periods or when using your mouse. Avoid hunching your shoulders and ensure that the elbows/upper arms remain close to your torso.
Sitting Posture 6. YOUR ELBOWS SHOULD BE AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME HEIGHT AS THE KEYBOARD Adjust the height of your keyboard tray or work surface so the keyboard is at the height of your elbows.
Sitting Posture 7. YOUR WRISTS SHOULD BE STRAIGHT AT ALL TIMES AND YOUR HANDS IN LINE WITH YOUR FOREARMS Adjust the angle and height of the keyboard tray or work surface to ensure straight wrists. If your keyboard tray or work surface is not adjustable, adjust your seat to ensure straight wrists. You will need to use a footrest if you have raised the seat and your feet are not flat and well supported on the floor.
Sitting Posture 8. THE MONITOR SHOULD BE AT A COMFORTABLE READING DISTANCE AND HEIGHT The viewing distance should be within 16” to 29” (40cm-74cm). About one arm’s length. The monitor height should allow the neck to be in a neutral position when looking at the top row of text on the screen. Source: Health Canada, Occupational Health and Safety.
Optimizing Monitor Adjust character size
Adjust brightness and contrast Adjust refresh rate: screen flicker can cause visual fatigue. When you have everything positioned correctly, you may have to tweek your monitor settings to comfortably read the screen at the recommended inch distances Highest possible refreshrate is the best.
Other Considerations Phone: Avoid cradling
Hold phone in non dominant hand or hands free Recommend using a headset if >34% of day is on the phone
Keyboard The keyboard should rest flat Wrist should be neutral
Do not rest wrist/ palm on edge Desk or keyboard tray? Wrist rest? Using the tilt feature on your keyboard often leads to awkward postures in the wrist. The keyboard should not be tilted to any significant degree. Resting wrist or palm on the edge of the desk or rest pad will cause awkward postures and local contact stress – hindering nerve conduction and or blood flow. A keyboard tray can be useful, although not necessary. If using one, consider using a tray that is long enough to accommodate a mouse. A tray will be necessary if your desk depth does not accommodate the monitor and keyboard with proper viewing distance or if your chair does not go high enough to accommodate proper upper extremity postures and the desk cannot be lowered. The rest pad should only be used when resting - not while keyboarding as this often leads to awkward postures and contact stress. Keyboard should be slightly lower than normal desk height. Use an adjustable keyboard tray. If that is noit low enough, try raising your chair…..prevent legs dangling by using a foot rest. Home row of keys at elbow level.
Other Considerations Printer/ Scanner
Place at a distance to necessitate a walk or change in posture. Mouse Placing mouse at same height of keyboard and as close as possible will minimize postural stress
5 Minute Self Assessment
What is the distance from my eyes to the monitor? What position are my wrist in while typing? What parts of my body are touching my chair? What are my feet doing? Imagine you are looking at yourself from above. Where are your ears in relation to your shoulders and monitor? 5 questions that can help you monitor yourself throughout your day Shoulders should be aligned with keyboard & monitor and ears should be directly above shoulders so the wt of the head is balanced
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