One of the services that my San Diego Chiropractic Clinic offers is ergonomic evaluations of my patient’s work stations. Some of the work stations that I evaluate are absolutely, without question, injury provoking. Improving ergonomics is critical for preventing work injuries.
Improving Ergonomics Is Easy
The relationship between a worker and his / her equipment is termed ergonomics. Ergonomics dictates that the shape, size, height, position, etc of objects that we work with should “fit” our physical requirements to help eliminate any stress that they otherwise may bring us.
In your work world, the task of improving ergonomics should first be applied to the items that you use the most. Those items should be placed close to your work space in order to eliminate unnecessary reaching and stretching. For instance, if you use the phone often during the day, it should be placed within easy reach of your chair. If you use it frequently, you should consider getting a headset in order to eliminate any reach. These principals can be applied to any item that you use frequently during the day. Another example would be a stapler. If you staple often, keep it close. If you staple frequently, keep it close and get an electric model to eliminate the stress as much as possible. When operating a computer, there are special considerations regarding improving ergonomics.
The basics include:
- Your keyboard should be placed directly in front of you.
- Your keyboard should be at the same height as your elbows when they hang restfully at your sides.
- Your keyboard should be far enough away to create an angle in your elbows of somewhere between 90 and 110 degrees.
- When using your keyboard, your wrists should either be straight or slightly flexed.
- Your mouse should be within easy reach. The same rules apply for your mouse as for keyboard positioning.
- Your monitor should be directly in front of you. Your eyes should be at the top third of the monitor when you are looking straight ahead.
- Your knees should be bent at 90 degrees with your feet on the floor or on a foot support. Your hips should be slightly open, and angle between 125 and 135 degrees is ideal.
In addition to the list above, there are many considerations when one is attempting to make a work station friendlier when improving ergonomics. Because of our heavy educational emphasis in human biomechanics, chiropractors are very good at eliminating stress from work stations.