Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect the muscles, nerves and tendons. Work related MSDs (including those of the neck, upper extremities and low back) are one of the leading causes of lost workday injury and illness. Workers in many different industries and occupations can be exposed to risk factors at work, such as lifting heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body postures and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively. Exposure to these known risk factors for MSDs increases a worker’s risk of injury. Continue reading
Ergonomics is the science that seeks to fit the job or task to the individual rather than expecting the individual to conform to the job or task. It seeks to adapt work or working conditions to suit the worker. The goal of an effective ergonomics program is to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that can be developed by workers.
Evaluate your employees’ workstations to ensure they are set up properly for each employee. A couple of areas to pay attention to are:
- Chair Height: Adjust height so your employee’s elbows are at about desktop level.
- Seat Back: Adjust for good support of the lower back and use a lumbar cushion if needed.
Another way to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders is by taking short breaks from your computer every hour to stretch. A couple of good stretches are:
- Fingers and Hands: Make a fist and hold for a second. Then spread your fingers apart as far as you can. Repeat several times.
- Lower Back: Sit on edge of chair with your knees and feet well apart, hands resting between your legs. Bend your trunk forward with head and arms dangling. Touch the floor with your hands and hold for 5-10 seconds. Return slowly to the starting position.
For more information on office ergonomics and stretching, call WHFA at (800) 422-3778 to request a free copy of their Helping to Prevent Workplace Injuries — Office Ergonomics brochure.