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The New Ergonomics: Good Health Through Inconvenience

You spend your day at a computer ... or ... desk. The ... item fills up the corner of the room, holds your ... ... scanner, filing basket and a year's worth of

You spend your day at a computer workstation or executive desk.
The furniture item fills up the corner of the room, holds your
computer, fax/phone/copier, scanner, filing basket and a year's
worth of office supplies. There's enough space left over to
spread out a picnic lunch if you are so inclined. You settle
comfortably into a big executive type chair on casters and get
ready to call a few colleagues in for a meeting. As you wait,
you talk into a telephone receiver that you're squeezing in
place by crunching your shoulder up towards your ear.

That scene is SO nineties, workplace experts tell us. The trend
of the new century is towards office furnishings and office
equipment that encourage mobility. Get rid of all that big,
expensive office furniture before it kills you, they say.
Replace it with a smaller "just big enough" desk and equipment
that encourages you to move around as you do your job.

In other words, get rid of all that "convenience." Force
yourself into healthy action by making your environment
inconvenient.

In the first years of this new century, the health hazards
associated with a desk job have moved beyond conditions like
repetitive strain disorder and carpal tunnel syndrome. Not that
we can forget about those conditions, but there's more to worry
about now.

e-thrombosis is a newly-recognized condition that afflicts
people who sit still for extended lengths of time. And, sitting
still for extended periods of time in the workplace is usually
associated with computer use.

E-thrombosis (medical terminology is Deep Vein Thrombosis or
DVT) is similar to the condition suffered by long distance air
travelers. It's no laughing matter. E-thrombosis can be life
threatening. A blood clot forms in the legs due to long hours
of inactivity. The clot can break off and move into the lungs
with sometimes fatal results.

Although only one case has been diagnosed at this time,
researchers believe that e-thrombosis may have contributed to
many cases of pulmonary embolisms, but gone unnoticed.

Sitting still for hours on end leaves us vulnerable to this and
possibly other health hazards. And, according to
physiotherapists, working out at the end of the day isn't the
solution. By that time, the damage has been done and the
workout could do more damage.

Prevention is not difficult. All that is required is that you
move about regularly throughout the day.

Get a desk that’s just-big-enough, or an e-work station with
movable modules. Put that fax machine in one corner of the room
and the copier in another. Provide yourself with articulated
arm rests for computer use. Get both an adjustable chair and a
fitness stool. Switch back and forth between the two, and at
intervals throughout the day, sit on a fitness ball instead of
the chair or stool. Sitting on the ball forces good posture and
strengthens core muscles.

Have room so you can pace about as you think. Get a phone with
a wireless headset that allows you to pace during phone
conversations. Have standup work surfaces so you can sort
papers, read reports or talk to colleagues while standing. Look
into foot switches that allow you to transfer some of the
computer tasks to your feet instead of your hands.

Walking around only five to ten minutes each hour is all that
it takes.
In short, get moving! It's good for you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


June Campbell has been a self employed writer since 1996.Her work has appeared in numberous print and electronic publications. Visit her business resource web site at http://www.nightcats.com/



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