Posts Tagged ‘computer ergonomics’
You spend all day working at a computer in an office, you are at risk for debilitating pain such as back pain and head aches or even permanent injury like carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress disorders.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure a safe and pain-free office workspace.
Adjust your computer monitor brightness and resolution to minimize eye strain. Your monitor should be about a hand’s length away from your face, and situated so that you eyes and neck are resting at a natural and relaxed/neutral angle. If you are straining up, down, or to the side, this will lead to back and neck pain and head aches.
Ergo Journal regularly publish articles, tips and advice on how to arrange your office workstation in an attempt to raise awareness of basic workstation ergonomics and reduce the stresses we each face on a daily basis.
With laptop computers now firmly outstripping sales of desktop computers around the globe, additional consideration by individuals and employers should be given to workstation ergonomics if the laptop is going to be used for any reasonable amount of time in one place.
I use a laptop myself and make sure I practice what I preach by using a laptop stand to lift the screen height, a dedicated mini keyboard, wrist rest, ergonomic chair and so on as I predominantly use my laptop whilst at my desk in the office.
We recently discovered a highly insightful white paper published by Ergoton, specialists in display mounting technology. The white paper is based on academic research spanning 25 years on the subject of comfortable computing and is entitled: Comfortable Portable Computing: The ergonomic way.
Within any organisation, it tends to be the responsibility of the employer to ensure that employees are provided with the tools and education to carry out their jobs safely.
Working in a manufacturing or construction environment, it is often easy to see evidence of these assessments, high visibility jackets, signage, warning alarms and so on make it easier to appreciate the health and safety risks and considerations for employees and site visitors. But what about the health risks in less ‘dangerous’ working environments, such as the office?
Within any given office the dangers may be less obvious, no heavy machinery for example (vending machines, water coolers and photocopiers excluded) but the apparent calmness of the office does not mean that employees are not at risk from health issues.
What about Workstation ergonomics? Injuries such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) can potentially lead to long term illness and a loss in productivity yet can often be avoided.
One way to ensure that the tools and education are provided to employees to highlight and minimise risk at the workstation, or desk’ is to carry out a risk assessment on each employee and their workstation, and put in place any corrective actions should a risk be identified, thus creating a healthier, more productive working environment.
We were recently forwaded an article that addresses many of the issues we are frequently asked about; what should I look when buying an office chair?
If you are like me who spends a major part of life working on desk, then I suggest doing a little shopping for an ergonomic desk chair. You might argue that you already have a desk chair, so what’s all this “ergonomics”?
Think about your poor back and neck. When you sit for hours together on our desk chair, you give a tough time to your back. This results in backaches and stiff back.
Ergonomic furniture in general and ergonomic desk chair in particular is tailor-made for comfort and ease. You will forget what pain is, once you start using ergonomic desk chairs. Ergonomic products are the best friends for your back and neck because they are designed keeping in mind your body and its contours. Ergonomic chairs keep your spinal chord straight and reduce your fatigue drastically. This, ultimately, enhances your productivity.
In a recent report published in the U.S. We are informed of how ‘Technology has brought huge advances in the power and capability of the machines which support us in our work. The human machine evolves at a somewhat slower pace. The result: workplaces which can at times resemble medieval torture chambers, at least as far as our necks, eyes and hands are concerned! The adaptation of machine to man is the concept of Ergonomics. Ergonomic products seek to enhance the interface between technology and the human form. Ergonomics attempts to identify the physical points of stress, and then minimize or eliminate that stress through superior design of workstations.
The economy of ergonomic improvements is reported in case studies in Swedish companies. Poor workplace ergonomics and related musculoskeletal problems were already known and had caused repeated sick-leave periods at the companies. Expenses associated with certain preventive activities were accounted for the financial effects. When costs were compared to gains, the improvements appeared to be highly profitable. (Kristina Kemmlert, Solna, Sweden)
There are still a lot of people who do not realize that the body pains they bear are often attributed to the bad ergonomics in the office. According to ergonomics, no matter how healthy a person is, once he or she is forced to work using office products with bad ergonomics, he or she can develop a world of medical problems such as upper and lower back pain, leg, hip, and neck pain, as well as severe headaches and migraines. (Tomer Harel, How Ergonomic Office Products can Improve your Life)’
We are often asked: What is ergonomics?
According to The International Ergonomics Association, ergonomics is defined as:
‘Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.’
Put simply, the science of designing and arranging products and the local environment to minimize the risk of injury and maximize productivity.
Poor ergonomics (or understanding of ergonomics) could lead to a Repetitive Strain Injury, which can be incredibly painful for the sufferer and can lead to loss of productivity to employers, it is therefore big business!
‘Hot-desks’ are becoming more commonplace due to more business offering flexible working arrangements. People working from home may not necessarily require a permanent desk in the office, or desks may have multiple users around the clock to suit the organisational needs. Considering Workplace Ergonomics and Display Screen Equipment (DSE) for desks with multiple users requires a little more thought, as one workstation set up simply will not work for a range of users.
Along with the key requirement for an adjustable ergonomic chair, the requirement to adjust the monitor position for each user to achieve an ergonomically correct position reduces the risk of workplace injury.
The Ergotron 45-174-300 Neo-Flex arm is designed to enable multiple users to quickly position the display screen in a position which suits them.
Achieving good workstation or office ergonomics when using a laptop isn’t always easy. It is important to try to position the screen in a comfortable working position to avoid, neck shoulder and eye strain and the Akasa Everest Ergonomic Cooling Station does just that. The design benefits from attractive extruded aluminium sections, giving it a very robust feel and great finish. With the integrated fan cooler, the ergonomic cooling station aims to consider the welfare of your laptop as well as your body.
The 3M Ergonomic Mouse EM500 is available in small/medium and large sizes and is designed to reduce the strain in the upper limbs associated with more conventional computer mouse designs.
This quirky ergonomic design of the mouse appears similar to a joystick, however the vertical grip is rigid and keeps the hand in a more vertical position, ensuring that the users forearm and wrist remains in a more neutral position during operation.