Why Ergonomics is Essential for Healthcare

Digital-Healthcare-150x150In the news release, Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away From Work, 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that healthcare workers suffer from the highest numbers of ergonomic-type musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Supporting a productive, injury-free staff means equipping them with the necessary ergonomic components that are adjustable and designed to accommodate the wide range of body sizes and shapes that comprise healthcare workers today. To ensure a healthy and productive healthcare setting, ergonomists recommend these 10 ergonomic solutions:

√ Seating: Look for durability, support, and maximum adjustability to accommodate staff of varying heights and weights.

√ Height adjustable desks/workstations: Accommodates staff of all heights and allows for seated work option, too.

√ Lumbar supports: An easy and cost effective way to ensure added lower back support to all staff.

√ Anti-fatigue matting: Reduces standing fatigue, improves productivity, and helps prevent slips and falls.

√ Monitor arms: Makes the monitor easily adjustable to each worker’s eye level, reducing eye and neck strain.

√ Keyboards and keyboard support systems: An ergonomic keyboard/keyboard tray at the correct height for each worker helps keep wrists straight and elbows open slightly beyond 90 degrees.

√ Computer mice/input devices: The best computer mice keep your arm relaxed while using the device, thus reducing muscle tension in the arm and wrist.

√ Mobile carts and wall mounts: Ease of use and mobility help reduce nurse stress and fatigue and keep data readily accessible

√ Palm/wrist supports: Provides support and allows user’s hands to freely move above the keyboard while typing.

√ Task Lighting: In hospitals, accurately reading reports and other paper documents requires optimum task-specific lighting without the glare and reflection caused by overhead lighting schemes.

Learn more about our ergonomic solutions here

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How to Create an Ergonomic Home Office

Kartell_Desk

Photo courtesy of Humanscale

The dream of working ‘from the comfort of home’ has become a reality for many professionals who spend part, or all, of their weekdays working remotely from a home office setting. Indeed, work from home arrangements are appealing on many levels, and often provide a new degree of convenience and efficiency for both the worker and employer.

There are, however, some notable challenges to working productively from home. Beyond distractions such as household chores or the temptation to watch The Price is Right, remote workers may be at risk for eye, neck, and shoulder strain, back aches, wrist injury, and the list goes on. The reality is that many home offices lack proper ergonomic set up, and working for hours on your laptop while sitting on the sofa is simply a recipe for pain.

The good news is that this can be easily remedied with these 5 simple assessments to help ensure your home office best supports you, ergonomically.

5-Step Home Office Self Assessment

1. Chair and Seating Adjustability: To ensure sound ergonomic seating in the home office, look for chairs with arm supports that adjust easily, have adjustable seat height and depth, and adjustable back and lumbar support (dynamic or manual).

2. Desk and Keyboard Tray Height: Working at a desk with ideal height for you is essential to preventing neck, shoulder, back, and wrist pain. A simple way to determine your ideal desk height, while at either a sitting or a standing desk, is to place your hands on the desk or keyboard tray and check that your arms are comfortable and slightly open beyond 90 degrees.

3. Keyboard and Mouse: Use an ergonomic keyboard in the home office to support a natural, relaxed posture, and help keep wrists straight and elbows properly aligned, whether you are seated or standing. An external keyboard is recommended for laptop and tablet use as well. And an ergonomically designed computer mouse or input device will help prevent fatigue from overuse and combats carpal tunnel syndrome by keeping your hands and wrists in a natural position and arms relaxed.

4. Monitor Position: To reduce and eliminate neck, shoulder, and eyestrain, be sure your monitor is comfortably at eye level. A monitor riser, monitor arm, or laptop stand will help ensure that the monitor can always be positioned at perfect height.

5. Lighting: Appropriate task lighting is just as important in the home office as it is in a corporate setting. Ensure you are working with the optimum task-specific light and minimize glare and reflection caused by overhead lighting or bright windows.

Use these 5 easy assessments as a guide to help ensure optimal ergonomics in your home office and to best support the work you do there. And–bonus–home office accessories are tax deductible in most states.

Let us help turn your home office into a comfortable, ergonomic haven

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Ergonomic Solutions On The Go

Neck PainIn today’s connected world, regardless of where we are – the office, at home, or traveling between the two – we spend a great deal of time on our laptops, tablets, and smart phones. According to recent report from the International Data Corporation (IDC), last year Americans purchased more tablet devices and smartphones than laptops and desktop computers combined.

Indeed, these mobile devices have transformed the way we communicate and work. However, the sad reality is that the more time we spend on our iPads and tablets the more we will suffer from shoulder and neck pains associated with hunched over-postures unless we bring mobile ergonomic solutions into the mix.

In 2012, a team of researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, led by Jack Dennerlein, focused on the design of electronic tablets and the ways in which prolonged tablet use affects user comfort. Their research, published in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, identified the key issue that plagues tablet users: Tablet users keep their heads and necks in more flexed positions than even typical laptop computer users do. This is obviously a recipe for pain, particularly when these tablet devices are used for long periods with the head slumped forward and the neck flexed.

Frequent Breaks and Mobile Ergonomics

In an interview with the Harvard School of Public Health News about his team’s findings, Dennerlein said, “The beauty of tablets and other mobile devices is their flexibility. You can use them almost anywhere and in different ways. You can hold them in your lap; you can hold them in your hand. The problem is that some of the postures people are in when using a tablet can be awkward and lead to discomfort with prolonged use.”

The best way to avoid pain and injury from extended smart phone and tablet use, says Dennerlein, is to take frequent breaks, every 15 minutes ideally, and to use a tablet stand for better viewing. And if you plan to do much typing, he says consider using a separate keyboard and computer mouse.

Mobile Ergonomics Checklist:

 Ensure Comfort and Adjustability When selecting a travel mouse and mobile keyboard for your tablet and mobile devices, be sure each is ergonomically designed to fit your typing and mousing styles, while providing adequate support for your wrists.

 Lightweight and Mobile Make sure the mobile ergonomic products you select are easily transportable and do not add unnecessary bulk and weight to your load.

 Compatibility Of course, maximum compatibility with your other devices must be considered.

Learn more about mobile ergonomic solutions from AliMed

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Comfort and Productivity Solution: Microdesk

microdesk for blog

Microdesk Benefits & Features:

  • Adjustable sloped writing platform for managing paperwork at a computer
  • Microdesk improves working posture and increases comfort
  • Instantly adds working space to any desk
  • Allows continuous access to the keyboard as you write
  • Helps to prioritize work and focus on the task in front of you
  • The perfect place to put your smart phone, tablet or calculator
  • Available n two versions: Microdesk Standard and Microdesk Compact
  • Sturdy, lightweight, transparent writing platform
  • Microdesk is suitable for left and right handed users

Learn more and order your Microdesk today

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May Savings Special: Rockstick2 Mouse

Rockstick2

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Create a Healthy and Comfortable Workspace with Ergonomics

ergonomicsIt’s a fact: when we feel safe and are comfortable, we’re able to think more clearly and perform tasks more efficiently. Sadly, however, numerous workers in offices, industrial facilities, healthcare settings, and even business travelers working on the go, still suffer from bad posture and pain caused by poorly designed workplaces and products.

The Solution: Ergonomics

The good news is that these painful, costly injuries are preventable in most cases with simple, ergonomic solutions. Supportive, easy-to-use ergonomic products and accessories play an essential role in supporting the overall health and safety of workers in any workplace and provide the following benefits:

  • Improved comfort
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved morale
  • Reduced costs associated with injury and downtime

Ergonomic Products are Mutually Supportive

It is important to note that ergonomic products best support a person’s health and comfort when integrated with other ergonomic tools and accessories. Thus, if any one of the key ergonomic components is missing or not used properly, the benefits of the others will likely be compromised.

You may have the latest standing desk or the best ergonomic chair available, but you may not be maximizing the benefits. For example, your keyboard might rest high on top of your desk, or your monitor may not be at your ideal viewing height, so you have to hunch forward to reach for the keyboard or strain your eyes to see the monitor. This essentially cancels out any benefits from standing work or the support of your ergonomic chair.

Learn more about ergonomic solutions from AliMed here.

 

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2 Tips for Healthy Sitting

92743d38-0134-45e1-8d20-1de1c76df1eaIf your work requires you sitting for long periods, even though you might have an ergonomically designed chair, there are some easy ways to make it through the day without aches and pains associated with prolonged sitting.

1) Make an effort to keep your hips, elbows, and knees at slightly open angles (greater than 90 degrees). Sitting upright or forward may be okay for brief periods, but actually increases the strain on the lower back and isn’t recommended for prolonged periods of time.

2) Remember to keep your thighs parallel with the floor, recline slightly, move around to avoid pressure points, and keep your feet flat on either a footrest or the floor.

Learn more about ergonomic seating options and which is best for you here

 

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Which Ergonomic Seating Option is Best?

The health benefits of standing throughout the workday are evident, but the fact remains, seated work is inevitable and even essential for many tasks. Because of this and with respect to the high costs of computer work-related aches and pains, selecting adjustable, ergonomic seating has never been more important. Ergonomic seating encourages proper posture and is an essential part of a healthy workplace.

chairs

Selecting the Right Chair

With so many seating options available today, selecting the appropriate ergonomic chair for the worker and the budget can be a daunting task. When purchasing ergonomic seating, be sure to look for these important features:

  • Easily adjustable arm supports
  • Adjustable seat height and depth
  • Adjustable back and lumbar support (dynamic or manual)

To help sort through the mix and ensure that workers are comfortable with optimal ergonomic support for the tasks they perform, consider these types of seating:

 Executive Seating 
The luxurious look and feel of these chairs is complemented by their ergonomic design and maximum adjustability. See product.

 Office Seating
Standard office seating is designed to provide maximum support and a wide range of ergonomic adjustability to workers of various shapes and sizes. See product.

 Heavy-Duty Seating  
Because one size does not fit all, heavy-duty seating includes chairs for big & tall or extra wide users. Designed for overall durability and maximum support and comfort of workers of various sizes, and in a 24/7 workplace. See product.

 Specialty Seating
Some workplaces require unique seating options such as stools with safety brakes and chairs with additional adjustability for high counters, while supporting maximum ergonomic posture. Specialty seating also includes ball chairs, saddle seat stools, and kneeling chairs. See product.

 Industrial Seating 
When sturdy design, ease of movement, and maximum adjustability are required, industrial seating delivers the ideal ergonomic fit.
 See product.

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Ergo Deal of the Week: Anti-Fatigue Matting

marble mattingThe Issue: Standing and walking on hard floors without matting means long, painful shifts for those workers who need to stand for many hours. The result, of course, is reduced productivity and possible injury.

The Solution: Anti-fatigue mats and matting give staff a more comfortable work environment – less stress on their backs; and less achy feet. Anti-fatigue matting not only supports your feet, legs and back but also supports a healthy environment.

A healthier, more ergonomic workplace is that easy.

Click here for this week’s special pricing deal!

 

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Special Pricing: VersaTech™ Monitor Arms

versatechVersaTech™ Monitor Arms deliver the best in monitor arm versatility with maximum tilt, swing, and rotation. Easily adjust your monitor to that perfect height and distance with spring-assisted adjustment.

Designed for use in any workspace, these monitor arms mount to desks, tables, or countertops and hold most flat-panel displays up to 21″.

Benefits of VersaTech™ Monitor Arms

  • Enable displays to tilt 180°, swing 180° side to side, and rotate 360°
  • Spring-assisted height adjustment option
  • Easy to achieve ergonomically correct positions
  • HURRY! Special pricing ends 3-31-14

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