How to Set Up an Ergonomic Computer Workstation

By Ryan Fogel,

How to Set Up an Ergonomic Computer Workstation

Good ergonomics can improve your health and productivity. After all, you can’t do your best if you’re uncomfortable. Unfortunately, many computer workstations are not ergonomically friendly, putting the health of many workers at risk.

Below are some of our tips to creating an ergonomic computer workstation:

 

The Monitor

You’ll be staring at a monitor for several hours, so you might as well be comfortable while doing so. To properly position your computer monitor, place the screen at a 15-degree down angle from your eyes. Then, push it back as far as you can without harming your ability to read what’s on the screen. Finally, be sure to position your monitor at a right angle to any light sources to minimize glare.

The Keyboard

In addition to the monitor there is the keyboard. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a major concern for many desk workers, but by properly positioning your keyboard, you can minimize your risk. Place your keyboard slightly below your elbows. As you type, your wrists should remain straight as you sit in a (slightly) reclined position.

The Mouse

Finally, there’s the mouse. While we don’t often think of our mouses, they can cause fatigue and strain to our wrists, hands, and arms. The mouse should be positioned at the same level as your keyboard. Keep it nearby the keyboard so that you don’t have to reach too far to use it. Additionally, you should not be using a wrist rest while you’re using your mouse or, for that matter, your keyboard. Wrist rests are meant to rest your wrists during a break—they are not meant as supports.

If you need help creating an ergonomic computer workstation, contact Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants today to sign up for our ergonomic evaluations.

  Filed under: Ergonomics Office Design
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Ergonomic Lighting Tips for the Office and Home

By Ryan Fogel,

When you hear the term “office ergonomic,” the first things you will think about are chairs, desks and keyboards. While all of these are crucial to proper office ergonomics, ergonomic lighting is also crucial, as it is able to prevent the development of a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) that presents with symptoms such as blurred vision, neck pain, headaches, itchy eyes, insomnia among others. Furthermore, poor lighting can contribute to general discomfort, drop in productivity, an increased propensity for errors, plummeting morale and a sharp reduction in mental alertness.

Many workers do not take ergonomic lighting seriously and it’s common to see someone hunched over their keyboard in a dim lighted room or typing away under harsh, fluorescent lighting. For sensible ergonomic lighting interventions that can keep your eyes healthy and help to avoid neck pain, here are a few tips:

1. Work Under Lights Not Too High or Too Low

When office lights are too dim, this will cause employees to squint or strain their eyes to see what’s on the screen. Not only does it reduce efficiency, it can cause vision to deteriorate over time. The problems are similar with bright lights, especially as they make images on computer screens appear washed out. The ideal scenario is to have employees able to read what’s on their screen without having to strain. For a dim room, put in a little brightness with supplemental table lighting. For bright rooms, consider taking one or two bulbs out to reduce the brightness.

2. Go for a Soft Yellow Light

Lights that are yellow toned are much easier on the eyes and have a pleasing effect on mood. Although many workplaces go fluorescent because of the numerous benefits it offers, chief of which is energy savings. This issue can be addressed by using the newest generation of incandescents. While they will not be as efficient as fluorescents, they are not as detrimental to your vision.

3. Watch the Placement of Your Lighting

Regardless of the light you settle for, one area of concern you may deal with is glare, especially when it comes to computer screens. That’s why indirect lighting is the best. Never position lights to bounce off the screen. Also, try out glare filters for computer screens, and glare shields for immovable lights that shine too brightly.

4. Keep Monitors Away from Windows

Screens near windows pose a high risk of glare. What’s more, if a window is placed directly behind a screen, it can create a situation where there is too high of a contrast between the screen brightness and that of the window, making it hard for employees to see what’s on the screen. If screens cannot be placed in another position, a mitigation strategy is to use blinds and drapes, and window tinting.

5. Adjust Lighting with the Time of Day

Staring at bright screens throughout the day has the capacity to influence circadian rhythms and interrupt sleep. To prevent this, you can download an automatic screen brightening detection app to either brighten or dim screens throughout the day.

To have a Specialist examine your lighting situation and to achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomics at Home, Ergonomics Office Design, Ergonomics Risk Management
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Benefits of An Ergonomic Stapler

By Ryan Fogel,

Staplers are excellent tools that can be used in the office, home, or store. There are many staplers out there, but there are special ones that have been made with ergonomics in mind. Electric staplers, for example, are decently built and offer many ergonomic benefits for the office or home.

Better Stapling Capacity

Most electric staplers are able to fasten more pages together compared to manual ones. There are products that can even staple upwards of 70 sheets instantly, making them great for use with thick documents.

Eliminates Pain

Manual staplers can be painful to use, especially when large documents or many different documents have to be stapled together. Not only do they cause sore hands, but they also contribute to repetitive motion conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. An electric stapler saves staples documents automatically, helping you to avoid excess pain and preventing work-related injuries.

Saves Time

Electric ergonomic staplers generally save more time compared to manual staplers. Manual staplers are rough on the hand and can take a long time when working with large stacks of papers. An electric stapler can fasten pages together in a split second. This ensures you get more time for more productive activities, rather than spending a large chunk of the day or week stapling papers together.

Improves Accuracy

After you have managed to get your papers together by hand, chances are you will not be accurate with your stapling. For example, staples may be placed too close or too far to the paper edges, or even mangled if your stapler isn’t able to handle the amount of paper being processed. This can be solved with an electric stapler because it is able to staple accurately every time.

There’s a Device for All Kinds of Offices

There are many different types of electric staplers on the market. One of the best names in the market is Swingline, a company that has become popular for their range of high-quality electric stapler products. Swingline has been in the business for years and produce many great products for the office like Optima 70 and 45 (the numbers refer to the sampling capacity of each product) and the Speed Grip, a portable stapling device that runs either that runs on outlet power or on battery. If you want to make your own booklets, you will find some electric stapling machines that are capable of performing center-stitch stapling.

For recommendations for a suitable electric stapler and to achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomics Office Design, Ergonomics Products, Workplace Injury Reduction
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Benefits of an Ergonomic Keyboard

By Ryan Fogel,

If you do a lot of typing, consider purchasing an ergonomic computer keyboard. With it, you will save your hands and wrists from unnecessary pain and discomfort.

Conventional keyboards force you to keep your fingers, arms and hands in unnatural positions for long periods that can cause tension in muscles, tendons and joints. Working in this unnatural position for a long time can lead to physical discomfort that cause various forms of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). RSI is caused by repetitive movements and overuse which can affect the whole body.

What is an Ergonomic Keyboard?

An ergonomic keyboard ensures the hands and forearms are in a natural position when typing. Ergonomic keyboard makes sense for people who type for many hours daily.

There are many ergonomic designs available, all with the aim of promoting a healthy posture. Some are curved, V-shaped, or divided in the middle of the keypad with one block for the left hand and another for the right hand.

Working with an ergonomic keyboard in an ergonomic posture while on the computer can help to prevent discomfort in the fingers, wrists, forearms and shoulders.

Benefits of Ergonomic Keyboard

An ergonomic keyboard provides benefits such as:

  1. Comfort

With an ergonomic keyboard, you get more space for your wrists to relax on the middle of the keyboard. Your fingers are closer to the keys, and your hands use smaller effort and movement when typing for long hours.

  1. Efficient Support the Wrist

The design of these keyboards provides comfort to your wrists. It prevents typing with the hands at an angle, which is often why wrist pain occurs after working for some time.

  1. Easy to Use

Ergonomic keyboards are created for people who want to avoid or alleviate wrist or forearm pain. They have been designed to support your fingers, hands and wrists and are user friendly.

  1. Supports Good Posture

As you use an ergonomic keyboard, you can adjust it to adapt to your sitting position because of its flexibility. It also promotes proper sitting posture while typing for long periods of time.

  1. Reduces the Risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Ergonomic keyboards allow a more natural positioning for your arms and hands. A smaller sized keyboard reduces reaching and places the mouse in a more ergonomic position, minimizing fatigue, discomfort, and the risk of injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Treatment for this injury can be long and costly and in serious cases, surgery may be required.

For suggestions for an ergonomic keyboard or to achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomics Office Design, Ergonomics Products
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Benefits of an Ergonomic Chair

By Ryan Fogel,

For several years, the significance of ergonomics and good posture has been understated. However, with more and more research and data released, it is apparent that the sitting conditions we practiced in our younger years have notable effects on our health as we get older.

Aching joints, back pains, and other severe problems can all be influenced by the chair we use, both at work and at home. Thankfully, ergonomic seating has been established to help solve the long-term health problems related to seated posture, and it is a subject that is worth paying attention to.

Pain from Bad Posture

A lower back herniated disc is one of the most common issues associated with sitting in a traditional chair. How does this happen? A bulk of your weight is placed on your hips or lower back as you sit in a chair, which becomes a strain on your hips or lower spine over time.

Your upper body weight pushes down on the base of your spine as well as the surrounding ligaments and muscles, causing pain after several years. Normally when you experience back pain, you respond naturally by hunching forward. This stretches the ligaments that hold your disc in place. Over time, your discs begin to push out to the nerves of your spinal column because the stretched ligaments are incapable of keeping the base of your spine any longer. The pressure causes a lot of pain, which may result in needing physical therapy or surgery.

Benefits of an Ergonomic Chair at Home

An ergonomic chair is important for use at home because of the number of hours most people spend in front of their computers. Ergonomic seating at the home has become just as important as in the office. Here are some benefits ergonomic chairs have to offer:

It promotes a neutral seated posture: Many people have developed incorrect posture as a result of the way they sit on traditional chairs. With ergonomic chairs, these problems are well taken care of. It comes with the features essential to sufficiently support your posture while sitting. Moreover, the chair’s height can be adjusted so that your feet sit flat on the floor.

Comfortability: Unlike normal chairs, you can sit in ergonomic chairs and feel comfortable throughout. If the features don’t make you comfortable, you can adjust them individually till they fit your needs.

It mitigates problems associated with neck pain: If your neck is not supported while sitting for extended periods, you’ll develop stiff neck and shoulders. This can cause complications like cervical spondylosis. Headrests are an ergonomic chair feature that provide support the head and neck and is beneficial for people who spend time on the phone.

It reduces the risk of back pain: Since ergonomic chairs come with a backrest that supports the spine’s natural curve, they help to keep the back relaxed and free of pain. They are higher than traditional chairs and support the entire back. They also come with a reclining function that make it easy to rest at an angle beyond 90 degrees.

Reduces pressure on the hips: The hard surface of normal chairs makes sitting uncomfortable and cause unnecessary contact pressure on your hips. An ergonomic chair has a good seat depth that helps to support the hips and buttocks.

An ergonomic chair is worth the investment to prevent future issues concerning posture and overall physical health.

At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomics Office Design, Ergonomics Products
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Benefits of Improving Typing Posture

By Ryan Fogel,

The use of computers every day is now part of our lives at work, home, school, or business. An office employee spends, on average, 95% of the day working on a computer, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Neck, shoulder and back pain, along with eyestrain and injuries to the hands and wrists can be as a result of working at a computer. They are altogether known as RSIs, repetitive strain injuries. These injuries can cause prolonged and severe pain, resulting in movement impairment and muscle weakness. Typing ergonomics have become more important than ever because of the high risk of severe RSIs among computer users.

What Does Ergonomics Mean?

The word ergonomics takes on a more precise definition in regards to typing. It refers to taking on the right position while typing to avoid RSIs and body stress to achieve optimal comfort.

People who haven’t used typing software or have no formal typing training are commonly at a higher risk of developing typing related injuries. Ergonomics will help you prevent painful RSIs following the “three P’s” of typing.

Position

Awkward movements of the hand can result in muscle strain and damage. It is necessary to position your hand and arms properly over the keyboard. Let your keyboard be positioned at a height that facilitates this. You may have to adjust your sitting height as well.

Also, place the backs of your hands parallel to the keyboard to avoid wrist strain. While you type, let your forearms be at the same level as your keyboard and your elbows supported and resting comfortably by your side.

Posture

Avoid slouching while using a computer, to prevent pain and injuries. Try to keep your spine neutral, with the three natural curves of the spine present and not overly arched. Plant your feet on the floor, if necessary, adjust your chair height with a footstool. Let your head be positioned directly above your pelvis while you keep your shoulders relaxed.

Place

An ergonomic workstation set up should be functional and comfortable. Place your monitor slightly lower than your eye level or just at your eye level. You will be forced to strain your neck if positioned at a level higher than the eye.

Choose an ergonomic chair that gives lumbar support. While you sit, it can generally help your spine to hold its curve. Also, position your desktop to provide enough room for your keyboard and mouse. A restricted space doesn’t give you enough room to type and causes uncomfortable and incorrect positioning.

Typing daily shouldn’t result in physical stress or prolonged pain. Abiding by these simple ergonomic principles will create and maintain a comfortable and safe work environment.

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomics Office Design, Ergonomics Training, Industrial Injuries
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Benefits and Why You Need to Utilize a Footrest

By Ryan Fogel,

Back injury is the second most common reason why employees miss work in the U.S. after the common cold. Statistics from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics shows workers who sustained ergonomic injuries require at least two weeks off to recuperate, leading to loss of manpower and income.

A great way to support employees at their desk is with an ergonomic footrest. This kind of footrest is essential to any style of desk and can significantly improve the comfort and overall well-being of workers.

The Benefits Associated with Ergonomic Footrests

A footrest at first glance might not make sense in terms of the day-to-day business operation, but it can be an addition that makes the difference in terms of the impact it on your overall seated posture.

Use of an ergonomic footrest can provide the following benefits:

1. Boosts circulation

Sitting for many hours has been found to impede the circulation of blood around the body. With an ergonomic footrest, the chances of developing circulatory problems diminishes. Poor circulation can lead to health complications, so it is important to notice if you feel increased fatigue.

2. Promotes a neutral seated posture

Considering how much time (30min to 1 hr) the average American spends slouching, this can negatively impact posture, resulting in back pain and limiting productivity. Back pain brought on by poor posture is said to cost American employers more than $7 billion per year. It is also responsible for major disabilities among employees under 45 years of age. Ergonomic footrests help to maintain a good sitting posture and improve the health of your spine.

3. Reduces the risk of lower back issues

Back problems significantly impact productivity. According to the World Health Organization. The leading cause of health-related economic drain is low back pain, which costs over $100 billion yearly. This issue leads to indirect costs from absenteeism and costs associated with lost production, idle assets, and benefits.

4. Improves comfort levels

Several studies reveal that employees that are more comfortable are more productive. Adding a footrest can reduce strain and encouraging better posture, preventing leg discomfort in the process.

Different Kinds of Footrests

A good ergonomic footrest should elevate your feet at a height perfect for your body. There are different types for movements, such as tilting, swinging, swaying, or rocking. The most basic products can give you a comfortable place to set your feet and stretch it out.

Even with those the use of a standing desk, a footrest can provide much-needed relief. Ergonomic footrests can improve standing time on a standing desk by up to 30 percent.

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

 

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury, Ergonomics Office Design, Ergonomics Products
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