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Introduction To Healthy Computing

Ergonomics is the practice of adapting the job to fit the person, rather than the person to the job (fitting the job / work to the individual). Adapting the job can be done by designing equipment, tasks, pace, and other job factors in such a way as to enhance the health and comfort of the workers. In addition to health concerns, people work more efficiently and are more productive if they are not nursing aches and pains.

Injuries resulting from poor ergonomic working conditions affect workers in manufacturing, construction, health care, government, and other sectors of the economy.

Just as computers have changed the way we work, it is becoming increasingly necessary for us to change the way we operate them. There are concerns over the proper and safe use of computer equipment to prevent injury. Safe computer use, including body posture, typing and mousing methods, and workstation adjustments will help prevent musculoskeletal problems.

Computer operation has led to a dramatic increase in computer-related injuries. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome [diagnosis] and other Repetitive Stress Injuries now account for over 500,000 injuries each year - and that's just at work. Countless more affect home users, and once such injuries occur, the potential for repair (or even long-term improvement) is minimal. Most treatment is expensive, prolonged, and only minimally effective at reversing the damage.

Are You At Risk For Computer Injury ??

The truth is, you don't have to type much to severely injure yourself at the computer--but the myth prevails. Because of the pervasiveness of computers in the workplace today, even executives and top managers are at risk. One man who only used computers a couple of hours a day and never more than 40 minutes at a stretch eventually became so disabled he could barely turn the pages of a magazine.

There are many risk factors for repetitive strain injury (RSI). Some are well-known, such as spending long hours working with a mouse or sitting in a poorly configured workstation. Others are not readily apparent. For example, having long fingernails leads you to type with flat rather than curved fingers. But if you don't know the major risk factors then you add another: ignorance. You can't take preventive measures if you aren't aware of the dangers.

People have varying degrees of awareness about pain and comfort or how they move, sit, and stand. Some people zone out at the computer, concentrating so much that they forget about their posture or movements. Becoming sensitive to these matters helps you become aware of symptoms and avoid injury.

Ergonomic injuries are increasing with the explosion of computer technology in the workplace. Repetitive and prolonged work at your computer workstation can lead to discomfort, muscle aches and work related injuries. Posture and proper body positioning at your computer workstation is important.

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