Ergonomic Solutions: Improving Occupational Health: Part IIFebruary 9, 2012
Hello all! As you know, throughout our blogging journey of absorbing and sharing all there is to know about ergonomic solutions, we’ve discussed many simple strategies all computer users can apply to improve both their occupational and overall health! In Part I of “Ergonomic Solutions: Improving Occupational Health,” we discussed the basics of ergonomics and neck flexion and applied them to the position of your computer screen (with the assistance of ergonomic laptop stands), your viewing distance, keyboard height, leg position, and back and neck support systems to make you more comfy at work!
In the next installment of our Ergonomic Solutions series (“Ergonomic Solutions: Improve Overall Health”), we suggested you perform eye and musculoskeletal exercises at your desk to stay in tip-top shape.
Ergonomic Laptop Stand Solutions Improve Occupational Health
Minimize Repetitive Movements
“Unfortunately, much work done on computers requires some repetitive motions. Even something as simple as scrolling with a mouse wheel can start to irritate your joints if you do it enough. This can lead to a repetitive stress injury, which can often be a very painful condition that will make it difficult to work at all. To avoid these injuries, first set up your workstation so that it reduces the strain on your joints, tendons, and soft tissues. It can also be helpful to make use of function keys or to mix up your routine by using a keyboard instead of your mouse. And, of course, don’t forget to take breaks that get you away from your computer.”
*Ergonomic laptop stands can reduce the risk of stress-induced injuries! The 2COOL 2C-SK11H2, for example, offers a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad and light display, along with a fully functional touchpad with left and right buttons. This keyboard eases strain on your hands and wrists, while it’s ergonomic design helps prevent neck strain.
Get Up and Move Around
“Studies have shown that being sedentary for long periods, even if you work out later in the day, is hard on your body. The best way to stay healthy, then, is to make sure that you aren’t sitting for too long in any one place. Take breaks from your work to get up and move around. If you have the time, taking a walk or running an errand (on foot or by bike) can be a great idea.”
*If you do have to remain sedentary for some time, we suggest you perform eye and musculoskeletal exercises at your desk to stay in tip-top shape! Check out Ergonomic Solutions: Improve Overall Health for exercises you can perform at your desk to improve both your occupational and overall health.
Don’t Work Through Pain
“If you’ve already sustained an injury due to a poor ergonomic set-up, you really should try to avoid any motions that further irritate it until it can heal, though this may take some modifications in your usual routine to accomplish. If a source of pain is new, stop what you’re doing if possible and try to figure out what’s causing it before it gets any worse. You’ll lose a few minutes of work time, but it could help you avoid a lot of pain and problems in the future.
*Wondering how to set up an ergonomically fit workplace? Check out our recent Ergonomic Solutions: Improving Occupational Health blog post and browse our The Sharper Image and 2COOL lines of ergonomic laptop stands.
Use a Light Touch
“It might not seem like it’s even possible to hit the keys on your keyboard that hard, but the reality is that forceful typing isn’t just hard on your keyboard; it can also seriously damage your fingers and hands and may lead to repetitive stress injuries. Type on your keyboard and click with your mouse as lightly as possible, your hands and those around you will thank you.”
*Try taking out this tension on a stress ball to relieve stress (as the term “stress ball” obviously suggests) and muscle tension, and to exercise the muscles of your hand. You and your hands (and your coworkers!) will appreciate your newfound tension reducer!
Avoid Working Away From Your Desk
We can certainly understand the desire to want to lounge after a long day of work,“ but it could come back to haunt you through muscle aches and joint pains later on. If you do have to work away from your desk, make sure that you’re sitting somewhere that supports your body and lets you maintain good posture.”
*Choose an ergonomic desk chair with good back and neck support to ensure you’ll remain as comfortable as possible while you’re working! Our The Sharper Image line of ergonomic desk chairs includes both mesh desk chair and executive desk chair options.
We know what you’re thinking (because we’re thinking the same thing)! Cut back on coffee!? How will I ever get through that report? “While you might feel like you need a cup of coffee or a cigarette to get through a marathon of writing or working, you should abstain if at all possible. Studies have shown that caffeine and tobacco reduce blood flow to your hands, making your nerve tissue more sensitive and increasing the chance that you’ll experience discomfort or pain while typing or using the mouse.”
*Worried you won’t be able to stay alert and focused without caffeine? Add an energizing candle, diffuser, or air freshener to your office. According to FitSugar.com: “Jasmine, whether in tea form or aromatic oil form, can offer energizing and even aphrodisiac benefits. Jasmine can also enhance mental alertness and stimulate the brain, making it a double dose of scented goodness.” Lemon is also a great choice, as it “gives off a powerful scent that is said to be both energizing and uplifting. This fresh scent is used in aromatherapy for its calming nature, which can aid with mental fatigue, exhaustion, and nervousness. It is said to refresh the mind, which promotes alertness and concentration.”
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We’re certainly glad to see that others, like our friends at Online College Courses, have recognized how important our focus on ergonomic solutions is! And, we thank them for offering even more ways to improve your occupational health! Check out their full article here: http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2012/01/18/18-important-ergonomics-tips-for-online-students-workers/.
Stay tuned: Do you work at home? You’re part of a growing trend! Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post that’s all about you!
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