Are you sitting safely?

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1 Are you sitting safely?... Avoiding musculoskeletal problems during your thesis write-up Dr Chris Williams

2 This session will cover: Risks of work-related upper limb disorder Principles of good workstation design, set up and posture Need for breaks & activity changes Hazard spotting Simple solutions Further advice & information

3 What are the risks? Effect Upper Limb Disorders (Pain in fingers, hands, wrists, arms, neck, shoulders, back) This can be muscular, tendon or nerve related pain. Aching, soreness, numbness or tingling Eye and eyesight effects (Headaches, sore eyes, blurred vision) Cause Poor design or wrongly adjusted equipment Poor working position or posture Sitting for too long in one position High workload and tight deadlines Prolonged repetitive movements Lack of breaks Badly designed, adjusted or positioned equipment Poor lighting Flickering image on the screen

4 Your spine! The spine is designed to have curves; good posture maintains and supports the curves Correct posture allows movement without excessive strain on discs, ligaments or muscles. Sustained bad postures and poor, repetitive movements can help to cause damage to components of the back.

5 Correct working posture Always sit back and move your chair close to the desk to maintain contact between your back and the seat back to help support and maintain the inward curve of the lumbar spine. This can easily be achieved by choosing a seat which has a forward tilt of 5-15 thereby ensuring your hips are slightly higher than your knees.

6 Poor working posture Do not perch on the front of your seat. Do not place your keyboard too far away. Instead move it closer to the front of the desk Avoid incorrect slouching where the angle of the pelvis rotates backwards. This results in the loss of the inward curve in the lumbar spine, causing excessive strain on the lumbar discs

7 But it is not just the back... This principle applies to the rest of your body So keep everything in a neutral and natural position Think in straight lines and right angles!

8 Ideal set up Eyes in line with top of screen, screen arms length away, head balanced Forearms & wrists horizontal and parallel to desk, arms relaxed by side Space in front of keyboard (10cm) Mouse within easy reach & sit close to the desk (not stretching to use mouse) Sit upright with chair supporting back Sit close to desk (reduce arm stretching) Hips slightly higher than knees, space behind knee Feet flat on floor or foot rest

9 Lap tops

10 Importance of breaks Taking breaks helps prevent fatigue, eye strain, upper limb problems & back ache Prolonged static posture known to contribute to problems Short frequent breaks & changes of position Stretches (shoulder roll, back & neck stretch rotate hands & feet). Do not continue if you experience pain Look into distance relieve strain on eye muscles Changes of activity (trip to library, put washing on) Reset posture before resuming

11 Other things to consider Plenty of room on desk to allow set up & accommodation documents or other equipment Use document holder to avoid neck bending Space under desks to move legs Soft touch on keys avoid overstretching fingers and over gripping of mouse Reduce glare on screen Comfortable working environment

12 Hazard spotting

13 Hazard spotting

14 Hazard spotting

15 Hazard spotting

16 Hazard spotting

17 Hazard spotting

18 Hazard spotting

19 Hazard spotting

20 Simple solutions Check set up & posture Get your eyesight checked Regular breaks (workrave/ drink lots!) Stretches Equipment: Back cushion inflatable cushion, fellowes back support Wrist donuts Alternative mouse penguin/ rollermouse /rollerball Laptop pack stand, separate mouse & keyboard

21

22 Example laptop bundle

23 Lap tops

24 Help and Advice Your Departmental Safety Officer Your Divisional Safety Officer (me) Your GP

25 Summary computer related issues are avoidable KEEP EVERYTHING NEUTRAL (straight, vertical or horizontal) and preserve the s in your back! Regular breaks & stretches Seek advice

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