Don’t Let Repetitive Motion Work Cost You Productivity or Money
Ergonomics is the science of fitting a job to suit the worker. Improving the match between a task and a person's physical limitations also improves a person's comfort, health, and productivity. Crafters may be particularly susceptible to eye strain or damage, repetitive motion-associated conditions (e.g., tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome), strain or pressure-associated injuries, or various chemical exposures from inhalation or absorption through the skin. If you experience any of these symptoms, consider the ergonomics of your work space and make any changes necessary to relieve the symptoms.
You will enjoy any craft of you are comfortable. Get a chair with a seat height that is right for you and that provides comfort and support to your body. Your feet and the floor should be at a 90-degree angle. If you can’t adjust your chair, use a footrest. Anything can be used as a footrest, even a stack of old magazines or old box. A chair the does not provide good posture can lead to back pain. If the chair that is too high can cause loss of circulation in legs and feet. The small of your back should press against the chair back. If it doesn’t, use a pillow or rolled up towel.
Above all, get comfortable.
Sit up straight. Do not slouch.
Use task lighting that is close to your work versus general overhead lighting. Avoid any lighting that creates a glare.
The work room should be at a comfortable temperature and clean air.
Avoid hand and wrist strain. If your hands or wrists hurt, do wrist and hand exercise to relax and relieve the stress and strain.
A work surface should be 26” across and 29-1/2 ” off the ground, regardless of you height. Adjust the chair height for your comfort.
Use tools created with ergonomics designed into the tool. Many scissors and glue guns have been designed to help relieve stress and strain in your hands and wrists.
Assemble all your supplies in front of you on a desk or work surface. Avoid unnecessary reaching or stretching to reach supplies.
Always follow the directions and safety instructions given on product labels.
When using power tools, always wear safety glasses.
“An epidemic is crippling the American worker. It’s called repetitive strain injury (RSI) and it can attack anyone who spends the day tapping away at a computer keyboard.” PC World, May 1993.
“The number of repeated motions in an eight-hour workday can be astonishingly high. For example, typing rapidly on a keyboard may require touching keys up to 200,000 time a day – the equivalent of the fingers walking 10 miles.” Training & Development, December 1993.
“Cumulative trauma disorders, also call CTDs or repetitive stress injuries (RSI), have increased explosively to become the leading occupational illness in America.” Los Angeles Times, January 13, 1994.
This material is copyrighted and printed with permission and may be used for your personal use only.
It may not be copied or reproduced in any form, sold, or copied or posted to another web site.