Healthy Computing: Could It Be Me?

Even with correct ergonomics, discomfort sometimes occurs. How could that
be? It must be the equipment! Research findings suggest that ergonomic
factors are important and contribute between 10% to 90% of the risk in
developing discomfort. In most cases ergonomic factors account for about
30%. The remaining 70% of risk is related to other factors, such as work
style and stress (work and personal). So when you experience discomfort
ask, COULD IT BE ME?

WHAT TO DO IF “IT COULD BE ME”:

If you say, “I do not have time to stop” or “I am indispensable and the
work will not get done,” ask, “What will happen when I die? Will the world
stop? Will it be worth the discomfort that I could now be developing?”

If you wake up in the morning already dreading going to work, ask
yourself, “What needs to change so that I can look forward to work?”

If you work intensely without taking micro-breaks or periodic larger
movement breaks and your body has less opportunity to regenerate, take
charge of your health.

  • Regenerating at work. Take very frequent micro-breaks, such as at the
    end of a paragraph, after each column of entered data, or when waiting
    for the information to download from the website. Drop you hands to your
    lap
    and relax you shoulders.

  • Increase mobility. Every half hour get up and perform movements or take
    a short walk (schedule walking meetings with co-workers).

  • Identify energy drains (those situations that leave you exhausted) and
    energy gains (situations that leave you optimistic and stimulated).
    Then, explore strategies to decrease one energy drain and increase one
    energy
    gain during the week.

  • Explore the factors that lead to stressful situations and, if possible,
    discuss resolution options with your co-workers and supervisors.

Copyright 2002 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney

Avatar Written by Erik Peper PhD

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