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Every seven seconds a worker is injured on the  job. From offices to construction sites, employees can suffer an ergonomic injury. This can happen carrying too much weight, repeating tasks and sitting in an awkward position.

Symptoms of ergonomic injuries include posture problems, intermittent discomfort, tendinitis, chronic pain and disability. If any of these symptoms go untreated, a person is susceptible to more long term problems or musculoskeletal disorders.

Employees should take stretch breaks. Here are a few sample target areas:

  • Hands and arms- open your hand and make a fist. On that same hand, slide your fingertips up your palm. Stop when your fingertips reach the top of the palm and the base of your fingers for a good stretch.
  • Neck and shoulders- place both hands behind your head and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Back and legs-Hold one leg off the floor and keep it straight. Then point your toes up and down. Repeat on the other leg.

Stretch and walk around regularly. If you experience ergonomic pain on the job, inform a supervisor immediately.

Ergonmic Basics:

  • The top of your monitor should be at or slightly below eye level
  • Arms should be relaxed. Elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle. Wrists should be relaxed but straight
  • Hips should be as far back as possible. Curve in lower back should have support
  • Thighs should be parallel to the floor. Some people may benefit from a small footrest
  • Feet should have plenty of room. A footrest can be helpful for workers with shorter legs.