Minimize Ergonomic Risk Factors

The ergonomic risk factors that you should try to eliminate or minimize are as follows:

✓ Awkward postures
✓ Cold Temperatures
✓ Force
✓ Repetition
✓ Static Postures
✓ Contact Stress
✓ Vibrations

To minimize awkward postures:

  • Position your mouse next to your keyboard.
  • Keep your elbows close to your sides and your forearms parallel to the floor; adjust the height of your chair so that your arms are at a 90 degree angle.
  • When you adjust the height of the chair to put your arms in the proper position, if your feet are not flat on the floor, use a footrest (or a phonebook if needed).
  • Position materials you are referring to right next to your computer screen, so you don’t need to extend your head or neck.
  • Use a telephone headset if you can.
  • Put your feet flat on the floor.
  • Do not slouch.
  • Keep your wrists straight. Do not bend them forward or backward when typing. This pinches the median nerve, which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Minimize twisting your trunk from side to side; turn the whole chair with your legs instead.

To Minimize Force:

  •  Type with a light touch.
  • Pad hard surfaces. This will also reduce contact stress.
  • If your feet do not rest flatly on the floor, use a footrest. This will take the weight off the back of your thighs while sitting. It may also reduce the incidence of varicose veins.

To Minimize Repetition:

  • Break up long repetitious tasks, such as typing or computer work, with other tasks, such as phone work or errands.
  • Automate stapling, copying, and colating.

To Minimize Static Postures:

  • Try to change your position frequently throughout the day.
  • Take a break from intense work periodically; move around, or take a walk if you can.
  • If you cannot take a break, try to stretch your arms and/or put your hands at your sides and shake them out periodically to get the feeling back in your fingers; and try to stand up for 30 seconds every hour.

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