What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics (say “er-guh-NOM-iks”) is the study of the kind of work you do, the environment you work in, and the tools you use to do your job. The goal of office ergonomics is to set up your office work space so that it fits you and the job you are doing.

 

Ergonomics for Using a Desktop Computer

If you are on the computer for an extended period of time or doing the same activity in a static position, you may be at risk for Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). It is a cluster of symptoms, such as pain, burning or aching in the neck, back, shoulder(s), arm(s) and/or hand(s). You may prevent these symptoms by paying attention to your posture, changing positions and taking frequent rest breaks.

Ergonomics for Using a Desktop Computer

  • Use a comfortable chair with a dynamic chair back.
  • Sit back in your chair with your feet on the floor or on a stable footrest. If needed, place a back rest/support at the base of the lower back.
  • Center the monitor and the keyboard in front of you with the top of the screen at eye level.
  • Keep arms and elbows relaxed and close to your body. Elbows should be bent at 90-100 degrees.
  • Keep wrists straight. Do not bend wrists up, down or to the sides.
  • Use a softer touch on the keyboard (do not pound).
  • Use a document holder or book stand, preferably in line with the computer screen to position resources.
  • Try to decrease the glare on the screen. Use an optical glass antiglare filter where needed.
  • Take frequent short breaks. The general guideline is to take a 1-2 minute micro break every 10-15 minutes, or take a 5-10 minute mini-break every hour.

Recognizing Symptoms Early

Some symptoms to watch for include:

  • Burning, aching, or shooting pain in the fingers, hands, forearms, neck, low back or shoulders.
  • General weakness in the hands and/or forearms.
  • Tingling, numbness or loss of sensation in hands or arms.
  • Difficulty opening and closing hands or using them with stiffness or clumsiness.

If you experience any of these symptoms, recheck and readjust your workstation and/or posture. Cut back on the amount of time you are doing the aggravating activity. If these problems continue or worsen, contact your HUHS Clinician for an evaluation.

 

Ergonomics for Using a Laptop

For occasional users – One who works on a laptop for a short period of time

  • Position your laptop in your lap for the most neutral wrist posture that you can achieve.
  • Angle the laptop screen so that you can see the screen with the least amount of neck deviation.

福建体彩网-足球比分网For full time users – One who works on a laptop as their main computer

  • Most importantly, use a separate keyboard and mouse.
  • Use the keyboard on a keyboard tray to ensure a wrist neutral posture.
  • Use the mouse on a adjustable position mouse platform.
  • Position your screen on the desk/work surface in front of you at eye level.

福建体彩网-足球比分网This may require that you elevate the laptop off the desk using a stable surface such as a computer monitor pedestal, docking station or pile of books.

  • Use a comfortable chair with a dynamic chair back.
  • Sit back in your chair with your feet on the floor or on a stable footrest. If needed, place a back rest/support at the lower back.
  • Use a stable work surface and stable (no bounce) keyboard tray.
  • Center the monitor and the keyboard in front of you.
  • Elevate the laptop off the desk, using a monitor stand in order for the top of the screen to be at eye level.
  • Use an external keyboard and mouse that are positioned on a keyboard tray to ensure a neutral wrist position.
  • Keep arms and elbows relaxed and close to your body.
  • Elbows should be bent at 90-100 degrees.
  • Keep wrist straight. Do not bend wrists up, down or to the sides.
  • Use a softer touch on the keyboard (do not pound).
  • Use a document holder or book stand, preferably in line with the computer screen to position resources.
  • Try to decrease the glare on the screen. Use an optical glass anti-glare filter where needed.
  • Take frequent short breaks. The general guideline is to take a 1-2 minute micro break every 10-15 minutes, or take a 5-10 minute mini-break every hour.

Transporting your Laptop
Be cautious when transporting your laptop and its components. If the total weight is 10 pounds or more, consider using a bag with wheels. If you want a smaller bag and can comfortable carry your laptop, consider a good backpack with a pelvic belt support.

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