Ergonomics is the study of the relationship between people 
and their environment--especially the workplace.  Managers, 
supervisors, and employees should work as a team to correct 
existing ergonomic problems.  We are committed to preventing 
ergonomic-related injuries.  Personnel are urged to discuss 
concerns with work areas and tasks which cause physical 
stress with their supervisor or the Medical Director.
Good posture can minimize unnecessary back stress by using 
good sitting posture, maintaining the three natural curves in 
the spine.  Employees can maximize comfort while sitting by 
learning a few practical posture comfort tips:
1.  Use a lumbar support to relieve strain in the lumbar 
    curve; use a lumbar roll or a towel rolled up to 4-6 
    inches.  Place it in the small of your back.  Chair 
    height should be adjusted so that weight is shifted 
    forward off  the spine and  arms are at desk level.  
    Employees should shift position throughout the day to 
    keep muscles loose and relieve tension caused by 
2.  Feet should be kept flat on the floor to help maintain 
    good sitting posture and aid circulation in the lower 
    extremities.  If feet do not comfortably reach the floor, 
    a footrest can be used.
Comfort exercises should be performed periodically during a 
day of sitting in front of the computer; arms extended to the 

keyboard can build up muscle tension and stiffness in the 
neck, back, shoulders, hands, wrists, and even fingers.  
Warming up exercises can help individuals to relax, loosen 
tense muscles and increase blood circulation. Deep breathing 
draws fresh air deep into lungs, while reaching high 
stretches stiff muscles.
1.  Deep Breathing: Inhale through nose and exhale through 
    mouth, letting stomach expand and contract. Repeat 6 
2.  Reaching High:  Raise hands over head, stretching as high 
    as possible.   Bring arms back down.  Rest a moment.  
    Repeat 2 times.
Additional site-specific exercises:
1.  For The Neck: To relieve a stiff neck glide head back, as 
    far as it will go, keeping your head and ears level  
    (when done correctly, a double chin is created).  Next, 
    glide your head forward.   Repeat 3 times.
2.  For The Upper Back: To relieve shoulder and back tension, 
    raise hands to shoulders. Using arms, push your shoulders 
    back, keeping elbows down.  Hold for 15 seconds.  Repeat 
    3 times.
3.  For The Lower Back: To relieve lumbar pressure, lower the 
    head and slowly roll body as far as possible toward the 
    knees.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Using leg muscles, pull 
    up.  Repeat 3 times.
4.  For The Shoulders:  To relieve shoulder stiffness raise 
    arms to the sides, elbows straight.  Slowly rotate arms 
    in small circles forward, then backward.  Lower arms, 
    then repeat 3 times.
5.  For The Hands and Wrists: To relieve hand and wrist 
    tension hold right arm out, fingers pointed up.  Using 
    the left hand, gently bend right hand back toward the 
    forearm; hold 5 seconds.  Repeat on the left.
6.  For The Fingers: To relieve hand and finger tension hold, 
    extend hands out to the front, palms down.  Spread 
    fingers apart as far as possible.  Hold for 5 seconds, 
    then make a tight fist.  Repeat 3 times.
Eye Care
Using eyes does not harm them; however, focusing on a 
computer screen for long periods can cause temporary eye 
discomfort.  The muscles that move and focus eyes can become 
strained, making eyes dry and itchy. 
Tips for caring for eyes:
     Blinking:  To keep eyes moist, prevent itching, and aid 
     in cleaning, blink often.
     Reducing Glare: To reduce reflection and glare from 
     screen, reposition the terminal, tilting the screen or 
     modifying the lighting.

     Palming: To rest eyes from the light, shape hands into 
     shallow cups and place them lightly over  closed eyes. 
     Hold them there for one minute.
     Refocusing: To exercise the muscles that focus  lenses, 
     periodically look away from the computer screen and 
     focus on an object at least 20 feet away.  Repeat three 
     Eye Rolling: To exercise the muscles that move eyes, 
     roll eyeballs clockwise 3 times, then counterclockwise 3 
     times. Make wide circles.
Preventing Repetitive Motion Injury
Simple movements are often used to perform job assignments 
throughout the day.  Repetition of such movements over and 
over again while at work or play may precipitate the 
development of repetitive motion injuries (also called 
cumulative trauma disorders or CTD).
Certain wrist and hand movements may increase chances of 
developing repetitive motion problems. 
1.  One way to avoid problems is to work with well-designed 
    tools.  Knowing how to hold and use them and learning how 
    to modify the way in which the wrist and hand are used 
    can help to avoid harming muscles, nerves or joints.
2.  Using tools that are the right size and length for the 
    hand precludes the need to 'adjust' by using awkward  
 positions to hold them and prevents having to use too 
    much force on the wrong part of hand.
3.  Using as much of the hand as possible when holding an 
    object prevents having to 'pinch' the object with the 
4.  Alternating the use of both hands will allow the hands to 
Symptoms and Physical Signs
Any symptoms and/or physical signs should be immediately 
reported to the supervisor or to the Medical Director.  
Common symptoms to be alert for include:
1.  Numbing, burning, or tingling in fingers
2.  Pain in wrists
3.  Loss of grip or muscle weakness
4.  Fatigue or abnormal tiredness
5.  Pain in the back, legs, feet, neck or shoulders
Self-Care Tips to Relieve Symptoms
Sometimes, despite efforts to prevent repetitive motion 
injury, symptoms appear.  Here are some easy self-care tips 
which may help to alleviate discomfort:
TAKE A BREAK:  One of the best ways to recover is to take 

time out.  Taking a break gives hands/arms time to rest.  
Take lunch or other scheduled breaks and, when possible, vary 
ICE: Apply ice to reduce pain and swelling.
STRETCH AND RELAX: In between repetitions, give the overused 
parts of  hand and arm time to recover. 
If prevention efforts and self-care do not stop repetitive 
motion symptoms, discuss other alternatives with the 
supervisor or Medical Director.
Approved By Governing Board    
Control #177.0