ASSESSMENTS

 

Work Station

 

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Workstation assessment


Profiles of Health

 

 

 

 

We conduct individual work station assessments.

What's unique about the assessments is that as well as assessing the workstation and adjusting the seat, the desk and the monitor to give the best possible ergonomic position, we also provide an assessment of the risk that the people are running of becoming victims of musculo-skeletal dysfunction due to poor posture and lack of strength and flexibility.

 

It is frequently the case that people are neither strong enough nor flexible enough to keep themselves in a good sitting posture for long periods of time. The net effect is poor posture - the 'S' shaped curve of the spine becomes a 'C' shape - leading to musculo-skeletal dysfunction, particularly of the lower back, shoulder and wrist.

 

And it is usually the case that it's not what happens at work that causes the dysfunction, but what doesn't happen at home. Lack of strength and flexibility lies at the heart of most musculo-skeletal dysfunctions.
 

Sitting down is a major cause of musculo-skeletal dysfunction in the workplace. It's a killer. If you don't sit up straight you're at great risk of future musculo-skeletal dysfunction. If you don't maintain the flexibility of the muscles of your calves, hamstrings and buttocks you're also at great risk.

 

We encourage people to stand up for as much of the day as they can. Some people can adjust the desk to allow this to happen, others need to have a box that they can put their keyboard and mouse on.

 

We alert people to the distinction between injury and dysfunction. Most of the musculo-skeletal incidents happening to people are dysfunctions caused by lifestyle neglect - they don't do any strengthening and flexibility exercises. Muscles are becoming weaker and tighter by the week, dragging bones out of alignment. They are not injuries.

We teach people how to sit up straight. Tip: make sure your seat is in close so your abdomen is touching the desk and the back of the seat is giving good support to the thoracic part of your spine.

We teach people the exercises they need to do to keep their pelvis and spinal column in correct alignment.

We show those with musculo-skeletal dysfunction what's the likely cause of their dysfunction and the exercises they need to do to fix it up. Remember, it's a big ask expecting to get better by having someone do something to you.


THE CHAIR AND THE DESK

It is frequently the case that the chair and the desk are not set up to give good support to the hips and spinal column, thereby placing staff members at risk of postural misalignment.

It's also interesting to note that the chair and the desk are frequently unfairly blamed for a musculo-skeletal incident. Usually it is the chair that gets replaced. The person becomes weaker and more inflexible as time goes on and the dysfunction reappears. The chair will be vindicated. Both employers and employees need to be aware of this situation.


OVER USE OR UNDER USE?

Most shoulder and wrist injuries are caused, not by overuse, but by under-use. People do not have a regular and systematic strength and flexibility program. They are not doing the exercises which will protect them from the dysfunction that comes from sitting down for long periods of time.

At first sight sitting down and typing all day looks like a pretty cushy job. However, if anyone spends long periods of time sitting down and don't have a regular strength and flexibility program, the muscles on the back side of the lower part of the body (calves, hamstrings and buttocks) become shortened, the pelvis tilts back, the shoulders come forward and they end up with lower back, shoulder and wrist dysfunction. The blame is unfairly sheeted home to the employer.

So, in a nutshell we

a.    make sure the furniture is set up correctly

b.    measure the risk of low levels of strength and flexibility

       through the use of the Ten Point Musculo-skeletal Risk Screen.

c.    prepare a report on the risk to the employer.

For best results it is recommended that staff attend a two hour Crook Back Clinic at the same time as the ergonomic assessment is done.

 

 

Miller Health Pty Ltd

7 Salvado Place, Stirling (Canberra) ACT 2611 Australia

61 2 6288 7703