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  • 1. 1 Ergonomics PaperStudent Name: Enda EdwardStudent Id#:2013010026Course: Introductory Computer Tools for Nurses CRTR100NAssignment Title: ErgonomicsLecturer: C. CudjoeDate: 09/02/13
  • 2. 2 Ergonomics Paper Table of ContentTitle PageIntroduction 3What is Ergonomic? 4Some Good Ergonomic Practices 5Health Problems from Improper Computer Use 7Techniques that help Prevent these Problems 8Conclusion 9Reference 10
  • 3. 3 Ergonomics Paper IntroductionAs nurses moving to an era of embracing computer technology in health care delivery, we are tobe aware of the possible issues that may arise from prolonged or improper use of the computer.We as nurses have the tendency to always place emphasis on delivery the best patient care andneglect to take care of ourselves. Before this assignment, I don’t think I had ever heard the termErgonomics. Somehow I thought it had something to do with workplace ethics. I couldn’t havebeen further from the truth. This paper will provide a definition for Ergonomics, some goodergonomic practices, some health problems associated with improper computer use and sometechniques to help prevent these health problems.
  • 4. 4 Ergonomics Paper What is Ergonomic?Ergonomics is considered to be the applied science of organizing one’s job to suit the worker,and not having the worker bend to suit the job. It involves all aspects of work. (Miller, L)Author of the article: What is Ergonomics? Seeks to define Ergonomics as the relationship anindividual has with his/ her work. (Adams C. 2013)A more technical definition states that Ergonomics is scientific discipline that involvesunderstanding how human beings interact with the various elements of a system; the science ofapplying theory, data, principles and methods to design to maximize efficacy and productivity.(Ergonomic Times 2009)Basically I see Ergonomics as making work more comfortable while efficient.
  • 5. 5 Ergonomics Paper Some Good Ergonomic PracticesGood ergonomic practice is important to avoid discomfort. Meaning the workplace should bearranged to suit one’s individual needs. Listen to your body; be cognisant of the alerts and signals from your body, to improve your body posture, work habits and overall ergonomics. Workplace Organisation, have enough desk space, your body, monitor and keyboard should take the form of a straight line, take breaks when possible or do another task away from your sit. The Chair, ensure that your chair is comfortable; if not, adjust the following: Have thighs, horizontal your back, supported by the seat; both lower and middle back the back angle between your trunk and legs, just a bit above 90 degrees ensure feet are flat on floor when seated With elbows at a 90 degrees angle; forearms and wrist should be about desktop height. Trays and wrist- rest, ensure that your keyboard tray is in a flat or slightly tilted position, wrist rests are for rest periods, not when typing. Mouse and Keyboard, position keyboard so that forearms are horizontal, keep shoulders relaxed and comfortable at all times, wrist should form a straight line with your forearms, have mouse close to keyboard, and there should be no need to lean to your side. Monitor, poorly placed monitors can put a strain on eyes and upper spine.
  • 6. 6 Ergonomics Paper Positioning should minimize reflections and/or glare from lights and windows Position the screen just below eye level for comfortable viewing Users head should be erect yet comfortable Angle your monitor slightly backward Comfortable viewing distance is considered to be about 18 to 30 inches based on your preference Regular cleaning of screen and eye glasses (Ergonomic Times 2009)
  • 7. 7 Ergonomics Paper Health Problems from Improper Computer UseSeveral conditions may arise from prolonged and improper computer use. Some of theseproblems include:  Cumulative Trauma Injuries (CTD’s); When working at the computer for prolonged periods this can lead to inflammation of the tendons, nerves endings, ligaments and in some cases soft tissue damage. Some of these injuries include; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tenosynovitis, Epicondylitis, Tendinitis, DeQuervain’s disease and Ganglionic cyst.  Back, Neck and Shoulder Problems; Improper placement of the monitor, mouse or paper working on contributes to stiffness of the back, neck, and shoulder, as well as cradling the phone to your ear.  Vision; Eyestrain, eye fatigue, eye irritation and blurred vision are just a few of the vision related issues that can arise from prolonged use of a computer or a glare on the monitor screen  Radiation; computers are said to give off very low frequency (VLF) and extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation called non- ionizing. Though results are inconclusive about these harmful effects, prudent avoidance which is reducing exposure by placing people away from the source of the radiation, is recommended.
  • 8. 8 Ergonomics Paper Techniques That Help Prevent These Problems  Organize your work space to have items in close proximity  Reposition the monitor and adjusting room lighting to eliminated glares, while ensuring lighting is adequate for desired task  Ensure proper body alignment with your computer by adjusting your work station appropriately. Importance is in adjusting equipment to comfort  Annual eye examination; contact eye specialist or occupational health practitioner if vision problem persist  Always report symptoms of health issues, that you believe are computer related immediately to supervisor, union, and physician  Get treatment and / or help right away, for changing your work station  Take breaks; every 30 minutes or so, get up or do alternate work which require you to move around.
  • 9. 9 Ergonomics Paper ConclusionAs shown computers, though they help make our lives easier, can be very harmful if they areused improperly or for prolonged periods of time. Through the application of Ergonomics, theseissues are placed in focus and avoided or corrected. The focus is to make your workspaceconducive and comfortable.
  • 10. 10 Ergonomics Paper ReferenceMiller L.A. Office Ergonomics. EHS Safety Traininghttp://www.ehs.okstate.edu./modules/ergo/What.htmAdams.C. (2013). What is Ergonomic- Ergonomic Basics.http://ergonomics,about.com/od/ergonomicbasic/alergo101.htmErgonomic Times (2009)http://wwwergonomictimes.com/article.php?articleID=9Health and safety Fact Sheet: Health hazards of Computer Use. A publication of New York StateUnited Teachershttp://www.nysut.org/files/hs_070828_computerfactsheet.pdf