What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics is part science, part art. It involves choosing and working with devices that minimize or even eliminate undue strain on our joints and muscles. For those of us who work in an office (or a home office), stay at home and nursing mom’s, we’re confronted with many opportunities that place our spinal cord, muscles, and other structures at risk for prolonged injury. Over time, these kinds of situations can lead to permanent injury to our wrists, elbows, knees, shoulders, necks and backs, not to mention our eyes.
How does it work?
Each ergonomic and postural assessment we perform includes:
- Assessment of the patient’s surroundings and tasks
- Immediate correction of potential risks
- Education of patients in prevention of injuries
Who would benefit?
Anyone! Posture and ergonomics are very important for all sorts of people. People who work, stay at home, new mom’s, athletes, etc…
Ergonomic and postural tips
Here are some tips for setting up a healthy working arrangement:
- Avoid having to twist or turn your head to view documents while typing at your computer. Place them in a viewing stand or document holder as close to your monitor as possible.
- Ensure that your computer equipment is placed on stable surface that won’t tilt or wobble.
- Ensure that your monitor is at a comfortable viewing distance. The rule of thumb is about one arm’s length away.
- Ensure that your work surface is a suitable distance from the floor. A good rule of thumb is 28 to 30 inches above the floor.
- Even if you own a laptop, consider investing in an external computer monitor. Reason? Most laptop screens force you head to tilt downward, creating undue pressure on your neck and spine. Also consider buying an external keyboard that allows you the flexibility of positioning the keyboard at a comfortable distance from the screen and your chair.
- Your chair should allow you to sit with your back at approximately a 100-degree angle, not perpendicular or 90 degrees. Ideally, your mouse and mouse pad should be slightly higher than your keyboard‚ about 1 to 2 inches. Invest in a comfortable chair that is height adjustable with a lumbar (lower back) support.
- Keyboard trays that tilt negatively, that is, down and away from your hands, provide for good wrist posture.
- When you have your hand placed on the computer mouse, make sure that your arms are relaxed and close to your body. Ensure that your wrist is level with your hand. This is a neutral or natural position for your wrist.
- Practice good posture while sitting for extended periods of time. There should be two inches between the front edge of the seat and the back of your legs.
- Nursing or bottle feeding, make sure latch is established and then release shoulder tension and rest head in a neutral position.
These are just a few tips, we have many, many more!