DSE & Ergonomic Information

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1 2016 DSE & Ergonomic Information Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust February 2016

2 Index Contents Page Introduction 2 Portable Communication 3 Using ipads and Tablets 4 Laptop Helpful Tips 5 Working at Higher Workstations 6 DSE Helpful Hints 7 Art of Sitting 8 Car Ergonomics 9 Effective Back Care 10 Workstation Exercises 11 1

3 Introduction The Trust is fully committed to the development of a positive health and safety culture throughout, The legal standards set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 (as amended 1999) and other relevant legislation are to be regarded as minimum standards to be applied in my area of control. Equal importance is to the achievement of health and safety objectives as to any other aspect of our work. They should be seen as an integral to the planning, organising, controlling, monitoring, reviewing and costing of any operation. By providing a working environment, which minimises risks to health and safety, we can improve our business performance. To this end, We will ensure that sufficient resources are made available to meet our health and safety objectives. We are keen to see progressive improvements in our systems for managing health and safety and in our health and safety performance. We require all staff to work in a safe and healthy manner, to co-operate with everything to do to comply with the law and not to interfere with anything designed to reduce risks to health and safety. All employees should be aware that they have a legal duty to bring to attention, through their managers, any defect or shortfall in arrangements for health and safety. We will also welcome all suggestions that might aid the process of continuous improvement to which we are fully committed. 2

4 Portable Communication Advice for Portable Communication Device s Portable input devices including small phones can lead to pain and discomfort due to the posture needed to use them. To minimise problems, follow the simple advice. To reduce typing consider calling instead. Look away from the screen regularly to relax eyes. Consider increasing font size. Hold device up to reduce bending the neck. Avoid lengthy input periods. When large amounts of inputting is required use a PC or laptop. Vary the fingers you use and stop frequently to stretch. Consider using an external keyboard. 3

5 Using ipads and Tablets Tips and advice for using ipads and tablet devices Remember a tablet is a great portable device for use for short periods of time but for longer periods or for work requiring the input of information, a correctly set up workstation is the best option. Make sure you use the right tool for the job to ensure you are productive and working without compromising your health. Advice Points When reading, use a stand or tilt the tablet to reduce the need for you to bend your head forward to read. Whenever possible try t place the tablet on a surface rather than holding it. If you are using the on-screen keyboard for extended periods consider using a Bluetooth external keyboard. Use a light touch when using the screen it will be more efficient as well as preventing problems. When tying or touching the screen regularly have the tablet flat or only slightly angled to ensure your wrists are not in awkward positions. If you find you are leaning forwards to view the tablet, enlarge the image or text. Keep your screen clean for good visibility and hygiene reasons. Remember movement is really important, if you find yourself using a tablet intensively for more than 10-20mins., take a short break, Due to the screen and keyboard being in the same place on a tablet either your head is angled down or your arms are being held up if extended periods of time are spent typing or inputting information, you will increase the risk of developing neck and upper limb conditions. 4

6 Laptop Helpful Hints For good laptop use with mini keyboards 5

7 Working at Higher Workstations Risk and Advice Monitor At arm s length and slightly lower than the eye line Keyboard and Mouse Position directly in front you within easy reach FEET Comfortable, low-heeled footwear. Also consider an anti-fatigue mat Arms Elbows at right angles Sit Stand Move Stretch Whether you stand or perch, you will be exposed to many ergonomic risks whilst working at a higher workstation. These risk factors include awkward or static postures and repetitive movements. Many people stand all day without varying their posture. They may be at a greater risk of developing health problems like varicose veins, joint damage, heart and circulatory problems, and swelling in the feet and legs. Active movement and regular posture changes should be incorporated into each day. This guide can help prevent the likelihood of physical problems developing. Spine Maintain the natural curve of the lumbar spine and avoid allowing the angle of the pelvis to tilt backwards Perch Stool If precision work is required a forward seat tilt or saddle seat can be useful 6

8 DSE Helpful Hints For your perfect workstation setup 7

9 Art of Sitting Correct sitting is not all about sitting up straight 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 (A) of the lumbar spine. This can easily be achieved by choosing a seat which has a forward tilt of 5-15 (B) thereby ensuring your hips are slightly higher than your knees. Poor Working Posture Do not perch on the front edge of your seat. Do not place your keyboard too far away from you move it closer to the front edge of your desk. Avoid incorrect slouching where the angle of the pelvis rotates backwards. This result in the loss of the inward curve in the lumbar spine and cause excessive strain on the lumbar discs. Correct Slouch Balanced rocking pelvic tilt and adjustable floating tilt chairs (also known as knee tilt ) allow the user to release the whole seat and back into free float thereby allowing the user to lean back and slouch correctly whilst still being supported by the chair. Incorrect Slouch Take care with synchro mechanisms whereby the freeflaot features allows the chair back to go past 90 resulting in the pelvis rotating backwards to reduce the inward curve of the lumbar spine. 8

10 Car Ergonomics Checklist Make the following adjustments BEFORE driving off 01. Raise seat as high as is comfortable to improve vision of road, ensuring adequate head clearance on roof 02. Slide seat forward until feet can fully depress all pedals without stretching 03. Tilt seat cushion to support length of thighs, avoiding pressure on back of knees 04. Adjust back rest to support length of back up to shoulders and allow easy reach of all head controls 05. Ensure backrest is correctly adjusted to provide even pressure in the lumbar region of the spine 06. Adjust steering wheel for comfortable reach (shoulders relaxed and elbows slightly bent), without obstructing knee clearance or view of display panel 07. Adjust head rest to reduce risk of injury in the event of a car accident 08. Adjust all minors to maximise view of road 09. Position Sat Nav within visual field, but without obscuring view of road 10. Initially pair Bluetooth headset with phone. If a hands free cradle device is subsequently fitted ensure it does not obscure vision Now you have completed your ergonomic self-check prior to driving Remember Change your position regularly - even good posture can cause discomfort Take a break from driving every two hours for at least 15 minutes Avoid using your car as an office Report driving discomfort to your Line Manager 9

11 Effective Back Care Tips and advice Top tips for effective back care Staying still or maintaining your posture for long periods is potentially harmful most of us are far too sedentary, sitting for about 80% of our waking lives. To prevent static muscle loading, joint stiffness and fatigue, movement is vital. Here are some basic tips on how to maintain a healthy back. At Home Don t tuck your legs up beneath you when you sit this can place your spine in a side flexed, twisted position Be aware that recliner chairs can sometimes increase lower back pain if you sit with your legs out straight for long periods Move! Build small and regular movements into your home lie simple stretching exercises can be truly beneficial At Work Take a critical look at your workstation when did you last check it was suitable for you? Is your keyboard close to you? Is your chair correctly adjusted in height and providing your back with support? Again, don t sit still all day, stretch, exercise and move as much as you can In the Car Adjust your seat and mirrors to ensure you are not slouching when driving When planning your journey, build in time to allow for regular breaks Use the adjustability your car gives you is the seat height right for you? Adjust the seat back to suit, can you adjust your steering column t reduce reaching? Remember, cars are designed for people of different shape and size, you need to get it right for you If you are suffering from lower back pain, remain as mobile as you possibly can. Usually, consulting a medical professional early cab get you back to normal quicker and can prevent longer term problems from developing. 10

12 Workstation Exercises Recommendations to reduce aches and pains Why Stretch? No matter how well the workstation is designed, problems may arise when work organisation is poor or disrupted. Working at a computer often involves few changes in body position. This lack of movement can lead to muscular aches and pains. Recommendations to reduce aches and pains: Regularly vary work tasks, looking at organisation of the working day. Break up on-screen activities with microbreaks tasks which involve movement, stretching and changes to body position. Trying standing during some tasks and moving away from the workstation, for short periods, where possible. Stretches for Wrist, Hand and Forearm 1. Make 2. With a fist; ensuring thumb is straight, not tucked under fingers (1a). slide fingertips up palm, tips of fingers moving towards base of fingers, until stretch is felt (1b). hold for slow count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times. hand open and facing down, move wrist from side to side, until stretch is felt sat each extreme. Hold each for slow count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times. 3. With elbow held close in to side of body, slowly rotate palm upward and then downwards until stretch is felt in each extreme. Hold each for slow count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times. 4. Holding 5. Sitting upper part of hand with other hand, slowly bend wrist down and then upwards until stretch is felt at each extreme. Hold each for slow count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times. with elbows out and palms together, slowly rotate palms down until stretch is felt. Hold for slow count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times. 11

13 Stretch for Neck and Shoulders 1. Sit 2. Drop or stand upright. Without lifting chin, glide head straight back until a stretch is felt. Hold for slow count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times. head slowly to one side, taking ear towards shoulder until stretch is felt. Hold for slow count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times to each side. 3. Raise shoulders towards ears until slight tension felt across tops of shoulders. Hold for slow count of 10. Release an repeat 3-5 times. 4. Sitting with back supported, slowly roll shoulders up and backwards in circular motion. Repeat 10 times. Stretches for Back 1. Interlace fingers and lift arms above head, keeping elbow straight. Pressing arms back, slowly stretch to one side. Hold for slow count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times to each side. 2. Hold right arm with left hand just above elbow. Gently push elbow towards left shoulder until stretch is felt. Hold for slow count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times to each side. 3. Interlace fingers and lift arms above head. Slowly lean backwards until stretch is felt. Hold for slow count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times. 12

14 Stretches for Leg and Ankle 1. Slowly lift one leg, straightening knee. Hold for slow count of 10. Repeat 3- times with each leg. 2. Lift ankle clear of floor. Alternate flex and extend ankle in a pumping action. Repeat 10 times on each ankle. 13

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