Archive for the Wrist Category

Ergonomic Workstations: Office Mouse Habits

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Creating a safe computer workstation entails finding the correct mouse size and proper placement. Today there are a variety of mice, trackpads and joysticks to choose from. Not to mention different sizes, shapes and configurations.

If your mouse is not placed near your keyboard or you are using one that is an inappropriate size and shape, you may experience contact stress, forceful hand exertions, stress on the shoulder and arm and awkward postures. Being in these prolonged awkward postures and positions can cause fatigue of the shoulder, hand and arm, as well as musculoskeletal disorders and injuries.

Follow this ergonomic guide to avoid unnecessary strain and pain:

  • Allow your wrist to maintain a straight and neutral posture by having a keyboard tray or surface that is large enough to accommodate the mouse and the keyboard. If this is not the case, try one of the following:Use a mouse tray like the Clip-on Mouse Platform over or next to the keyboard
  • Use a trackpad if possible
  • Use a keypad without a 10-key pad to leave more room for the mouse
  • Install keyboard trays large enough for both the keyboard and mouse
  • Utilize a mouse pad with a wrist and palm rest to help promote neutral wrist position
  • Select a mouse designed to fit the hand you’ll be operating it with – e.g., right handed mouse for right hand use
  • Select a size that requires minimal force in order to generate movement and doesn’t require you to bend your wrist during use
  • Adjust sensitivity and speed to allow the pointer to be able to cover the full screen while your wrist maintains straight and neutral posture

For more information on Ergonomic workstations and solutions, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit your local Relax The Back location to receive a custom adjustment of the proper Ergonomic workstation.

Back Friendly Travel

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Taking a vacation is fun and exciting, but the fun and excitement can end before you ever get to your destination if you don’t take care of your back. Here are some tips to help you become a back friendly traveler.

Low Back and Neck Support
Long trips may cause upper and lower back pain but lumbar and cervical travel pillows can offer relief. Inflatable pillows are preferred for air travel because they can be adjusted easily in your seat and lay flat in your carry-on bag or luggage.

Luggage Weight
Do you know how much your luggage weighs? Most people buy luggage to fit their travel needs but rarely consider the weight of the bag. Check the weight of the bag before purchase. A pound or two less can make a big difference once the bag is packed.

Smaller Bags
Traveling light is easier when your bag is small. Consider taking 2-3 small bags instead of one large bag on your trip. Also, consider using a backpack as your carry-on. Backpacks distribute weight equally to both shoulders to reduce back pain.

Luggage Wheels and Handles
Luggage with smaller wheels can easily tip over causing shoulder, elbow, wrist, and low back pain. When purchasing wheeled luggage opt for the bigger wheels to improve the balance between you and your bag.

Wheeled luggage is the best way to travel but the handles are often too short. Consider purchasing a luggage handle extender to prevent twisting your low back and neck, over-rotating your shoulder and hyper-extending your elbow.

 

About the Author
Christine E. Wright, Ph.D., LOTR, has been an adult rehabilitation Occupational Therapist for 17 years and an academic educator for 11 years.
Contact Information:
Christine Wright, Ph.D., LOTR
School of Allied Health Professions
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – Shreveport
Shreveport, LA 71130
318.813.2952