Minimize Ergonomic Risk Factors
The ergonomic risk factors that you should try to eliminate or minimize are as follows:
- Awkward postures
- Cold Temperatures
- Static Postures
- Contact Stress
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 collating.
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.