Don't Risk Becoming a Casualty of the Keyboard

Nurse with laptop

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, are common in the healthcare workplace. Though not life threatening, RSIs are a painful and potentially disabling health hazard.

Here are some guidelines for using a PC, laptop, or tablet so you can reduce your risk of injuries, lost work time, and medical costs. You'll be healthier and more comfortable, too:

Study up on your furniture.  It only takes a few seconds to familiarize yourself with adjustment points on your workstation and seating. Ergonomic office chairs, for example, usually allow you to fine-tune the seat, backrest, armrest, lumbar support, and height.

Shift your seated position. Sitting for long periods in a fixed position fatigues muscles. Choose desks that adjust so you can raise or lower your keyboard every few hours. Ditto for your chair. (If your feet lift off the ground, use a footrest.)

Stand up for a minute (or longer). Consider standing while in meetings, talking on the phone, or shuffling through papers. Or you can even stand while keyboarding, for example, set your laptop or tablet on a high countertop for a change of pace. Many authors (Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, and Lewis Carroll) did their best work at standing desks. It may look peculiar, but who knows, it could lead to your next brainstorm.

There are other ways to maintain good ergonomic hygiene and protect your health. I'll cover them in my next few blog posts.

So, how do you keep comfy at work while using the new technology? Let us know!


Jebra Turner is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. Visit her at www.jebra.com.