January 20, 2009

Health and Safety

Office ergonomics: Your work environment
Working more efficiently will benefit you little if you ruin your health in the process, and the graphic artist's workplace offers a multitude of health hazards, from eyestrain to carpal tunnel syndrome Setting up your work environment properly will allow you to function more effectively, and to enjoy your work more.

The right posture is important, your furnit
ure should foster it A straight back, feet firmly on the floor for support, and elbows bent without strain are what you want. Invest in a decent chair, one that suits your physique. if you choose a stock office or "task-chair it, should be fully adjustable hi height, seat tilt, and back rest giving full lumbar support some people find that the backless, "kneeling "seating suits them better There are also "bike seat" chairs that encourage good posture and flexibility, if possible.

Work station or table
The work surface should be stable and drop low enough for comfortable viewing, keyboarding, and mousing. The height will vary (27 inches is a
verage) so have a friend check your measurements while you are seated in your ergonomic chair: elbows to floor, floor to tops of thighs Allow plenty of room for legs, thighs, and free move­ment. consider such Items as articulated keyboard shelves, monitor risers, and adjustable table tops. Armed with your measurements, space requirements, and list of features, shop the computer catalogs, maga­zines, and retail stores.

Listen to your body and be prepared to change your setae if you notice continuing discomfort; that's a warning sign.

Input devices
Although the keyboard and mouse are ubiqui
tous, the input device used is a matter of personal preference and work style. The type of mouse pad you use Influences the mouse's tracking ability, as well as your own comfort. It should not be thick enough to force your wrist into an awkward angle. Fabric pads tend to offer more traction, but are harder to clean and can leave solid deposits in the trackball, requiring eventual mouse cleaning. Hard surface pads are easier to keep clean, but offer slightly less traction than fabric.

back: Angled slightly backward to widen angle between torso and thighs, increase blood flow, deepen breathing, and ease compression on spine

Arms: Relaxed and loos
e at sides. Forearms and hands parallel to floor

Thighs: Angled slightly down from torso. transferring some of torso's weight to legs and feet.

At right angle to thighs.

Back rest: Supports lower back, matching curve.

Seat: Incline forward slightly to transfer Some weight pressure from back to legs and feet.

Cushion: Curves down at front to reduce pressure on thighs.

Arms: Out of elbows' way, allowing full movement of arms. Should be adjustable and removable.

Controls: Should adjust height and tilt angle of back rest and Seat, allowing both flexible and locked positions.

Base and feet: Should offer plenty of stability (5-spoke base is best), swivel, and rolling casters. A chair mat allows free movement of the chain


Manu said...

As a blogger I appreciate you for adding health and safety tips. Usually not many of the bloggers does that. Its a good thing to let people know about important things which directly affects them.

barnasha said...

..i have to say NKS, you have done quite a thorough research, and we all know that you practice it at the workplace ... by the way really nice blog, very informative ... keep up the good work...

Ysabet said...

I keep reading down, and you keep having cool posts on totally different things. I am impressed.

For office ergonomics, I really like gel pads. I have one that goes on my mouse pad. I wanted one for my keyboard but couldn't afford it -- $$ ouch.


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