"I wanted to thank you for coming in to help us preserve our work environment. After coming in and observing our employees perform their duties and then to come back and put on such a well thought out hands-on clinic was wonderful ."
~ Steven A. Kay, Toyota 101
Is the top of your computer screen at eye level?
Are your feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest?
Are your wrists straight and horizontal to your work surface as you type?
Do you sit back in your chair with your low back well supported in it's natural curve?
These are just a few questions that need to be answered when putting your computer workstation together. However, the computer workstation is just one type of work place that needs to be ergonomically examined. Other work places include warehouses with lifting or for any other type of trade such as a plumber or electrician.
Occupational risk factors for ergonomic injuries include:
Cumulative trauma disorders (also called repetitive strain injuries) are caused by repeating the same motion in awkward positions or with noticeable force, such as in lifting heavy objects. Carpal tunnel syndrome, a disorder affecting nerves in the wrist that has the potential to permanently disable, is a condition affecting people in a variety of occupations from meat packers to musicians.
Back injuries are most prevalent among workers involved in manual materials handling, including truck drivers, nurses and nurse aides, forklift operators, and construction workers. High rates of back injuries are also found among workers in sedentary jobs, typically associated with postural stress.
In general, whenever a mismatch occurs between the physical requirements of a job and the physical capacity of a worker, musculoskeletal disorders can result. Symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders can begin as numbness or stiffness in joints or tingling, aching sensations in muscles. Pain or burning sensations may be evident, too. Often symptoms progress gradually, becoming more severe with prolonged exposure to the condition causing them. Damage to nerves, tendons, joints, or soft tissue can result without proper intervention.
Ergonomic injuries have become the most common cause of workplace illness and injury in the United States. Back injuries and cumulative trauma disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, and epicondylitis account for the overwhelming majority of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, costing employers more than $12 billion per year in lost work time, workers' compensation payments, and medical expenses.
Redesigning tools or workstations to reduce the risk factors is considered to be the best approach for preventing back injuries and cumulative trauma disorders. Making workstations adjustable to fit the range of body sizes of workers and providing specific training in risk avoidance goals and adjustment procedures are central to prevention. For example, computer workstations that can be adjusted to optimize the height and angle of the monitor, keyboard, and chair help to reduce ergonomic risks to the extremities and back. However, these products are only effective if employees are properly trained on when and how to adjust them.
Give us a call today to schedule a chiropractic and/or physical therapy appointment or free consultation with Dr. Kakleas. We are conveniently located next to Highway 101 in North San Rafael, Marin County.