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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 218319 Find in a Library
Title: Safety Guys: Office Ergonomics 101 -- Part 2
Journal: Forensic Magazine  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:April-May 2007  Pages:48-50
Author(s): Vince McLeod CIH; Glenn Ketcham CIH
Date Published: April 2007
Page Count: 3
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This second of a two-part article on ergonomic (environmental design) risk factors in using computers in an office setting focuses on repetition/duration and force issues related to the risk for physical pain and injury due to computer use.
Abstract: Repetitive motions in computer use include typing, using a mouse, or referencing source documents. These repetitive motions involve the use of the same muscles, tendons, and joints thousands of times a day, week after week, year after year. The risk of injury from repetitive motions increases when they are done from an awkward posture (e.g., bent or flexed wrists) or forceful exertions, such as repetitive overreaching for the mouse (shoulder and neck pain). Risk can be reduced by curtailing the number of repetitions experienced by each set of muscles, tendons, and joints throughout the workday, allowing time for recovery. Problems arise when the amount of damage or stress accumulated over time outpaces the body's ability to repair itself. Short breaks in repetitive tasks can be of significant benefit. Designing tasks in order to alternate their performance can give intermittent breaks to the muscles, tendons, and joints involved in each task. Use of the mouse, for example, can be relieved by using keyboard commands. Forceful exertion is also a factor in the physical stress associated with computer use. "Force" is the amount of muscular effort expended in performing work. The goal should be to expend as little force as possible in performing a computer-related task, so as to reduce the potential for injury. A reduction in the force applied to the keyboard is important in avoiding finger joint injury. The use of thicker pens/pencils can reduce the force required to grip and use them when writing. 2 references
Main Term(s): Police safety techniques
Index Term(s): Computer aided operations; Occupational safety and health; Physical fitness; Physical training
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