One of the major solutions
that have evolved to treat carpal tunnel syndrome
and other such injuries caused by constant workplace
repetition is ergonomics, and ergonomic products.
These two things are combinations of exercises, stretches
and specialized equipment that help to prevent, and
lessen the pain of, severe injuries, the most commonly
known of which is carpal tunnel syndrome. This article
is an overview of some of the products, and possibilities,
that are opened to create a more successful business,
one that incorporates a healthier work environment
for its workers.
While at first many companies were hesitant (to
say the least) about the concept of using ergonomic
products to treat and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome,
nowadays there is actually much less resistance,
because time has shown that many times the companies
that took a risk and brought in the ergonomic products
and procedures to their employees has actually paid
off for them! The introduction of ergonomic products
has reduced injuries, which in turn results in more
efficient and productive workers. This also, as another
positive result, led to lower operating costs. Some
of the changes appeared quite minor, but led to huge
results. For example, redesigning check stands to
reduce ergonomic risk factors such as twisting or
extended reaching can improve cashier effectiveness
There are many OSHA guidelines that outline what types of jobs need to be most
strongly considering ergonomic equipment and programs, and such lists can be
easily located from the OSHA web site. As the success of ergonomics became
obvious, more and more companies have jumped into the game to provide quality
products for the employees of those industries. These aren't just cheap gimmicks,
either. A lot of money has been invested by the government and associated companies
to find the most effective way to ergonomically attack carpal tunnel syndrome.
The reason they can have such fierce competition is that other companies that
need ergonomic equipment know that the right equipment decreases injuries and
that f ewer injuries means higher morale, less sick time, and less overtime
(for the people filling in for injured workers); reduce employee turnover,
and encourage employees to stay for longer periods of time, even for entire
careers. This isn't even taking into consideration how much happier and healthier
employees improve customer service, thereby improving the number of customers
who will keep coming back.
There is a wide variety of ergonomic equipment that includes, but is not limited
to, c hairs, computer desks, special keyboards, mice, office chairs, office
furniture, seating, software programs, stretch and exercise systems and customized
workstations. To finish this article, here is a list of some of the most common
ergonomic equipment and a brief overview of how it helps affect the work place.
Keyboard Trays: These are used t o adjust the height
and angle of a keyboard in order to fit the person
or allow posture change.
Wrist Rests: One of the most common, most important,
and most effective ergonomic products. These help
prevent the wrist from dropping (bending back) while
keying during keying pauses, or while using the mouse.
This is the worst habit that can lead to carpal syndrome
in an office worker. These also help to take a little
bit of weight off the shoulders and reduce shoulder
muscle work to soften the surface under the wrist
Trays: Reduces reaching by keeping
a mouse near the keyboard, if a keyboard tray is
Forearm Supports: To support the arms. Helps prevent
the wrist from dropping while using the keyboard.
They also help to avoid pressure under the wrist
or elbow that may occur with wrist rests or chair
Keyboards and Alternatives to Mice: These emphasize the use of different muscles in the
Height-adjustable tables and work surfaces: These
are pretty self-explanatory. Someone who is seven
foot two is going to have much different needs than
someone who is four foot ten. Helps adjust for posture
regardless of who is using the work area.
Monitor arms: These help to free up work surface
under the monitor. This also allows for the forward
and back or sometimes up and down movement of the
monitor to accompany posture changes or fit different
employees. They can even be used to store keyboards
when not in use
seating: Allows for different
posture and different sized workers to still both
comfortably use the same area.
Stretch Break Software: Times
employees to take breaks throughout the day and rest
Stretch and Exercise Programs: Active
exercise and stretch programs increase circulation
and decrease muscle imbalances, the main cause of
compression syndromes like carpal tunnel.
The use of these ergonomic products will help prevent
injuries, keep worker morale up, and keep a business
where it should be: going forward without a hitch.
on for further advice on diagnosing carpal tunnel