andrewcooper — 2010-04-12T18:21:40-04:00 — #1
First of all, what comes to mind when you see the word Ergonomics? Does your spine shiver?...Ok so it isn't exactly something to be scared of...But you should definitely be concerned about it and aware of the consequences it poses to your health! Blah blah blah, yadda yadda...No. Seriously. FO REAL HOMIES!
Let's face it, if you’re going to be working at a computer workstation for an extended period of time every day of the week then you need to make sure that you’re not only comfortable in your environment but also that your work environment is as ergonomic as possible to place your health and safety first, before you start enjoying the wonders of the Internet.
Possible health risks that you are putting on the line are the likes of:
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Eye Strain
- Neck and Back Pain
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Unfortunately I suffer terribly from back pain! :eek: Infact it was just today that I went into the Walk-In Health Clinic to see someone about it, not that they did much except prescribe me some anti-inflammatory tablets! (That's the NHS for you eh! Haha) But hopefully everything will be fine. I mean, today in college it was so bad that I couldn't even lean down or bend down to pick my bag up! I had to ask my tutor to pick it up for me! How bad is that?! :nono:
There was one time around a year ago when I woke up with sever neck pain / stiffness. I was worried I had woken up with a broken neck and had paralysed myself because I couldn't move and was in such terrible pain! (It never happened before so I didn't know what was happening to me! ) But thank god that hasn't happened since...Actually thanks to some neck exercises I do. Just the simple neck turning and so on. Nothing major.
I could go on forever with computer ergonomics but you guys and girls probably know all about it already! So what I'd like to know is, despite being aware of computer ergonomics and the problems, do you consider it or ignore it? I bloody well do now! :lol:
But if you just so happen to want to know more about computer ergonomics then guess what? I've got some nice (but to be honest, fairly boring!) links for you to read! So have a look at the [Understanding ergonomics at work PDF document from the Health and Safety Executive (UK Government) and the [URL="http://www.cdc.gov/od/ohs/Ergonomics/compergo.htm"]Computer Workstation Ergonomics](http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg90.pdf) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US Government).
dvduval — 2010-04-12T18:43:52-04:00 — #2
I am fortunate that I work from home. I actually pay less attention to ergonomics now, and more attention to getting up and moving around, stretching, etc.
I LITERALLY get up and stretch, do taekwondo (even though I am really bad at it), practice ballroom dancing, roll on the excercise ball, take a walk, go to the gym nearby, run around in circles, play with my cat, etc.
at least TEN times EVERY day.
That completely solved my problems (or 99.5% at least)
mizwizzy — 2010-04-12T20:02:33-04:00 — #3
wow dvduval, I'm always going to be picturing you ballroom dancing now :shifty:
Andrew, for me I'm sort of mixed - I have never suffered from any of the above you listed, and to be honest I am an absolute nerd, I'm always on the computer for longggg periods of time, for years really - I've never physically suffered from anything at all ...well up until recently.. I have changed my computer desk to a smaller one and it has one of those silly shelves under it where you can't stretch your legs out fully! It's really annoying and as I'm leaning mostly on my left side mostly reading stuff I tend to rest my elbow on my left leg at times and sometimes I just get a bit of a pain in my leg around my knee, obviously I will be changing my desk soon or ripping out that shelf - one will have to go! :smash:
A big part of my setup here was where to put my monitor, I'm about 3ft away from it now which I reckon is a fairly ok distance and the lighting has to be bright otherwise I would be squinting and inevitably get headaches! Thankfully I've never had a problem overall with the amount of time I've sat here at the computer - I exercise alot in general so I guess that also plays a big part in why I've never had a problem too! My chair also actually has good support and those must-have arm rests, I couldn't relax properly without having arm rests on my chair :nono:
ps: I had to laugh at your third last paragraph, I know it's a serious issue but for some reason I sorta found that funny :lol:
crazybanana — 2010-04-13T14:19:06-04:00 — #4
as I'm indestructible I mostly ignore everything about this, but my chairs are comfortable, especially one of them. I think i have to purchase more of these chairs.
I have 3 computer desks at home, and even though i'm not spending as much time in front of a puter now as i used to do, i like to have some comfort when i work.
I do a lot more than just sit in front of a computer, so this has never been an issue to me. ..and I'm still in my prime... :smoke:
hawk — 2010-04-13T14:27:30-04:00 — #5
In my last job (which was for a huge corporate) they used to get a specialist in who would come around to all of our workstations and set us up properly - screen the right distance away, chair the right height, foot stool etc. When they first did it I felt so uncomfortable (I used to be a sloucher) but now it's second nature and I'm glad that I know I won't end up in your position Andrew!
I work from home now but I'm super careful to make sure I still sit correctly.
stomme_poes — 2010-04-13T15:10:03-04:00 — #6
Shoot, my boss is required to get new chairs every so often.. I can't stand them! And manage to keep my ancient one (the one that's broken enough to move in any direction I need).
I need to move constantly. I'm always shifting. I even wake up regularly to move. I often have my feet on the chair, or one leg under me, or my feet up on the table if I'm reading a reference book or something (today: Rich Bowen's Apache Mod Rewrite Guide). I look like a slob but it feels so good.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
I have a family hx of these, so while most people are NOT going to get this from sitting behind their desks day in and day out, it's an outliying consideration for me. A radiologist I used to work with had a case once where he argued against an ER doc who wanted a Cat scan on a 22-year-old for dvt because the rad said "she's 22 and athletic, wtf?" The ER doc won out though, and lo and behold, she had a dvt. Reason? 22 hours sitting in the car after a match without getting out once. The rad didn't know that nice little tidbit (lawlz). My family gets these if they cross their eyes funny tho : ( I hope I never have one. They are extremely dangerous and you don't always get symptoms!
There was one time around a year ago when I woke up with sever neck pain / stiffness. I was worried I had woken up with a broken neck and had paralysed myself because I couldn't move and was in such terrible pain! (It never happened before so I didn't know what was happening to me!
Having been in the medical field, my first thought,every single time, is meningitis lawlz. Worst headache in the world? Neck so stiff it feels like king Tut's? (he had fused cervical vertebrae) Fever? Been sharing a room with students on a campus? ruh-roh, raggie.
dvduval has it right: if you're sitting 8 hrs behind a desk, the way to prevent injuries to your body is to move as much as possible. A strong, flexible body can withstand stresses (and sitting still is a stress) better than a weak one.
I run for an hour most mornings, bike (15 minutes or 1hour 10min depending on the route) to work and back, and go on a lunch walk if it's not pouring rain. It helps.
Now I can forget about nasty diseases and stop being a hypocondriac.
php_daemon — 2010-04-13T16:20:07-04:00 — #7
Incidentally I had a class on Ergonomics back in uni. Of course, little do I remember anything about it now.
My setup sucks and breaches all known rules of Ergonomics, as well as some of the unknown ones. But I still live and don't have any permanent damage, except for the eyesight which is getting worse. Don't think that has to do with lighting, probably more to do years of 16 or so hours at the computer with little to no breaks every day.
Otherwise, I too am pretty indestructible :lol:
shaun — 2010-04-13T20:43:52-04:00 — #8
In my last job, they called me "Sideways", 'cause I'd always sit parallel to the desk.
Actually, that's how I'm sitting now.
cranial_bore — 2010-04-14T00:38:55-04:00 — #9
Unfortunately I suffer terribly from back pain! Infact it was just today that I went into the Walk-In Health Clinic to see someone about it, not that they did much except prescribe me some anti-inflammatory tablets!
Try doing core strength exercises. I've had a sore lower back in the past (more sport than chair I think) that made it very difficult to put shoes or pants on. Stretches did little to help, but the core strength holds nearly cured it, and quite quickly too.
hawk — 2010-04-14T01:19:28-04:00 — #10
You'd definitely want to get that sorted pretty quickly.
mizwizzy — 2010-04-14T09:49:42-04:00 — #11
Doesn't your neck ever get sore sitting like that?
sg707 — 2010-04-14T18:07:39-04:00 — #12
Good thread as I'm experiencing this myself. Time to time, my left knee would give out when I'm going up/down the stairs..yes..it's very scary! So, now I'm religiously hitting the gym to stretch and work on knee strengthening. Yeah.. computer is a fun field but it does a lot of damages to the health. Actually, about 30% of the reason I change my job was that they had in-door gym at work and that you could workout anytime you want during 8 hour shift. Anyways, I feel you and it's hard lesson learned of "Heath > Computer Geek Stuff"
crmalibu — 2010-04-15T13:30:47-04:00 — #13
I had to start doing daily core exercises too(and focusing on sitting with better posture). I started getting really terrible sciatic pain in my leg that seemed to coincide with sitting for long periods of time.
t_beachboard — 2010-04-15T14:02:29-04:00 — #14
The California PTA is urging ergonomic initiatives for children in our schools that work in computer labs. Since ergonomics is the new basis for employee worker's comp claims, some activists have gotten on the bandwagon to try to implement it in our schools. The only problem is, California is broke and can't afford to do it. They just don't care. I suppose they will want the Federal Government to swoop in. Or they will initiate lawsuits. Ugh!
nuala — 2010-04-16T10:02:19-04:00 — #15
It is very important to have a chair that is adjustable, frequent breaks from your sitting position, leg exercises to prevent DVT, also to avoid getting carpal Tunnel syndrome, use cushioned or jellied wrist pad. Do wrist exercises,flexing, circular etc prior to using your computer and at intervals. If you do get ? Carpal Tunnel S. ice packs should help, also anti-inflamatory meds will help. Take a few walks outside in rhe fresh air !!
sagewing — 2010-04-16T22:15:51-04:00 — #16
I never cared about ergonomics until about 5 years ago. Wow, neck and back pain, shoulder pain. It was pretty awful but after a few months of practicing really good ergonomics it away.
It's a real thing, I think
Ignore it at your own peril !!!
alexdawson — 2010-04-18T20:03:21-04:00 — #17
I think ergonomics is one aspect of web accessibility most people often forget about, while it's an indirect causation of barriers to using and accessing the Internet it can't help to account for such disorders when building websites. For example, I've noticed a not so good trend of people having text rotated at a 90 degree angle so you have to keep tilting your head to read what it says, while it may look pretty it couldn't do your neck much good.
lqyromeo — 2010-04-18T22:10:34-04:00 — #18
Yes, I also have get back pain, Working in this envirement, health risks don't ignore at all.
studio_junkies — 2010-04-18T23:24:10-04:00 — #19
Yep noticed my knees are definitely weaker after years of sitting at computers and the eyes I think are slowly losing focus, that could be normal ageing though.
I vote for Kinesis Advantage keyboards and can't stand those square keyboards anymore The Kinesis keyboards cured my RSI which I had all up the side of my right arm from stretching the pinky to peripheral keys (you do this a lot if you're programming).
stomme_poes — 2010-04-19T02:45:37-04:00 — #20
which I had all up the side of my right arm from stretching the pinky to peripheral keys (you do this a lot if you're programming).
vi baby, vi.
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