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Introduction

Introduction

What Is Ergonomics?

What is Ergonomics?

Cumulative Trauma Disorders

Cumulative Trauma Disorders

Eyestrain

Eye Strain

Workstation Design

Work Station Design

Quiz

Quiz

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Back to Training Modules


What is Ergonomics?

Correct Posture

The word "Ergonomics" comes from two Greek words "ergon," meaning work, and "nomos" meaning "laws." Today, however, the word is used to describe the science of "designing the job to fit the worker, not forcing the worker to fit the job." Ergonomics covers all aspects of a job, from the physical stresses it places on joints, muscles, nerves, tendons, bones and the like, to environmental factors which can effect hearing, vision, and general comfort and health.

Physical stressors include repetitive motions such as those caused by typing or continual use of a manual screwdriver. Other physical stressors could be tasks involving vibration such as using a jackhammer, or tasks which involve using excessive force, such as lifting a heavy box of books. Working in an awkward position, such as holding a telephone to your ear with your shoulder, can also cause problems. Repetitive motions, vibration, excessive force, and awkward postitions are frequently linked to ergonomic disorders; however, the majority of "Cumulative Trauma Disorders" (CTDs) or "Repetitive Strain Injuries" (RSIs), are caused by repetitive motions that would not result in undue stress or harm if only performed once. Carpal tunnel syndrome, Tendonitis, Tenosynovitis, DeQuarvain's Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, many back injuries, and several other conditions may result from repetitive motions.

Environmental factors could include such things as indoor air quality or excessive noise. "Sick building syndrome," with its accompanying headaches, congestion, fatigue and even rashes, can result from poor air quality in a building or office. Excessive noise around heavy machinery or equipment can cause permanent hearing loss. Improper lighting can cause eyestrain and headaches, especially in conjunction with a computer monitor.

It is important to listen to the signals your body gives you. If you suffer pain in the wrists or hands after a long day of typing, examine your work area and work practices to see if they may be causing the problems. Learn to make adjustments. Raise or lower chairs to avoid typing with your wrists at an odd angle. Adjust computer monitors to avoid glare. Take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks to give your body a rest. Always use proper lifting techniques. Sometimes small modifications to work procedures, posture, habits, and/or work station design can make a big difference in the way you feel at the end of a day.


What Is Ergonomics?

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