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Ergonomics Blog - repetitive strain injury (RSI)

Avoid Stress by Re-Working your Work Space

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Today’s worker is stressed. Stressed by life and its inherent problems, stressed by children and their never-ending needs, stressed by career goals, stressed by office conflicts, and stressed by office noise. It makes sense that a stressed worker is not a happy worker. But you might not know that a stressed worker is not an efficient or productive worker either. In fact, a study conducted by Cornell University found that workers in open-style offices with only low-level noise:

  1. Experienced significantly higher levels of stress.
  2. Made 40 percent fewer attempts to solve difficult problems.
  3. Made only half as many ergonomic adjustments to their workstations as did their colleagues in quiet offices, resulting in an increase in repetitive strain injuries (such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) and workers’ comp claims.

However, several other studies (all published in professional journals) found that the following improvements resulted from improved speech privacy levels, such as through sound masking and the use of white noise:

  1. Focus: the ability of office workers to focus on their tasks improved by 48%
  2. Distractions: “conversational distractions” decreased by 51%
  3. Error-rates: performance of standard “information-worker” tasks (measured in terms of accuracy [error-rates] and short-term memory) improved by 10%
  4. Stress: when measured in terms of the actual physical symptoms of stress, stress was reduced by 27%

By covering intrusive noise with white noise, workers were able to focus, be less distracted, make fewer errors, and have less stress. Based on the first study, it’s reasonable to assume that they were freed to solve more problems and make the necessary ergonomic adjustments for increased productivity.

Stress is hard to avoid. But it can be lessened by being proactive in how you design your work space.


Upgrading to Avoid Injury

Did you know that open office (the euphemism for cubicle farm) workers made only half as many ergonomic adjustments to their workstations as did those in quiet offices? This lack of proactive problem-solving resulted in an increase in repetitive strain injuries (RSI), such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and workers comp. Plus, they were just uncomfortable. It’s like cramming into coach [...]

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Reduce Repetitive Stress Injury With a Left Handed Keyboard

Find out why a left handed keyboard may be the best choice for both the right- and left-handed!Some would say that sitting at a keyboard all day is not a difficult task. While it may not be like digging ditches, the job of all day keyboarding still poses the threat of injury. Repetitive Stress [...]

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Reduce Repetitive Stress Injury With a Left Handed Keyboard

Find out why a left handed keyboard may be the best choice for both the right- and left-handed!Some would say that sitting at a keyboard all day is not a difficult task. While it may not be like digging ditches, the job of all day keyboarding still poses the threat of injury. Repetitive Stress [...]

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Avoiding Carpal Tunnel at Work

A college friend once went on a Blackberry hiatus as a result of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I'm not even kidding- all her rapid texting had inflamed her tendons. That got me thinking about all the typing and texting we do on a daily basis. Now, this friend of mine was an aid [...]

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Keyboard Users Can Prevent Repetitive Stress Injury

Using a keyboard can cause stress and pain in the forearms, wrists, and hands. Many people using a keyboard on a regular basis for hours at time don’t realize just what damage they could be doing to the wrists and hands. The next time you sit down to your keyboard pay take a look at your forearms, wrists [...]

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Making your Laptop Ergo-Savvy

We all know that laptops are awesome- these days they are compact, lightweight, and durable. They go where we go- they're man's new best friend. However, laptops kill our posture and make us strain to use them. Here are some problems you will face with your laptop, coupled with a solution.ProblemKeyboard & [...]

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Tips to Prevent RSI (Repetitive Stress Injuries)

We’ve all heard of carpal tunnel syndrome and words like “blackberry thumb” or “gamers thumb.” If you aren’t familiar with these terms, obviously blackberry thumb is the over and continual use of your Blackberry! Gamers Thumb happens often to people who play video games constantly and use their thumb in the same repetitive [...]

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Why & How to choose an ergonomic keyboard

Why should I use an ergonomic keyboard?More and more workers are sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time. Sitting in a fairly static position like that puts untold amounts of strain on your neck, shoulders, back, eyes, and even hands and wrists. Therefore, it's important to consider good ergonomic [...]

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Tips for Choosing an Ergonomic Desk

Why go ergonomic?Well, if you're asking that, you must not be an office worker, or sitting at a desk very often. If you do sit at a desk more than few hours at a time, then you already know- the average office-supplied desk that comes with your job is not exactly cozy or [...]

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