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Workstation Evaluation Ryan Schabel October 29th, 2013


Table of Contents Overview

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Pre-Evaluation

3

Evaluation Analysis

4

Post-Evaluation Recommendations

5

UC Berkeley Computer Workstation Assessment Form

6

Appendix

9

RULA Assessment Form

12

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Overview According to the RULA assessment (Figure 8), Ashley’s risk for injury stands at a score of 4 at her current work station. The Berkeley Work Station Assessment form was also used in the evaluation of her computer area. There are two main areas of her workstation which can be improved to benefit her health and reduce her risk of injury or muscoskeletal disease. One of the initial questions asked was if her chair provides lumbar support. Her answer was that it does not provide lumbar support and she also reported lower back pain while working on her computer. Because of these two issues, a new seating position should be used. The next area of improvement is critical to the arms, shoulders, and wrists. Although there is some support provided by the table, more elbow support should be used. The best position for the body is the neutral position. The further the body is from the nutral position, the higher the risk of injury.

Three behavior changes for Ashley to work on: -

Continue taking regular breaks while using her computer to relive pressure from her spine by moving from the desk

-

Adjust the lighting in the room to reduce glare as much as possible

-

Try to change seating positions often

Pre-Evaluation Before the evlauation, four pre evaluation questions were asked: o How many hours per day do you use your computer? o How frequently do you take breaks when using your computer? o Does the chair provide good lumbar support? o Do you have any discomfort in any parts of your body when using your computer? (feet, knees, legs, hips, lower back, shoulders, elbows, wrist, neck, others) Four photos were also taken before the intervention, as shown in the appendix.

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Evaluation Analysis Ashley’s responses included that she works at her computer between 1 to 4 hours per day but more hours on days she has class. She may be at her desk for additional hours depending on what projects she is working on. She also reported working 5 days per week at her desk. She reported taking a break from her computer once she is too uncomfortable which is every one or two hours. As reported by Ashley, as well as seen in figure 4, the chair she uses does not provide adequate lumbar support for her lower back. This is likely causing her lower back pain which she reported in the pre-evaluation questions. As seen in the overhead and profile view (Figure 1 and Figure 2) of Ashley typing at her desk, her arms are extended to almost their maximum reaching distance from her body to control the mouse. This is consistent with her arms getting tired, which was reported in the pre-evaluation questions. The Bursa is a very important and complex area of the body which needs to be taken care of to allow adequate blood flow to the arms and neck. Because a lot of blood flow can be restricted by tensing the shoulder area, this is another issue that needs to be addressed.

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Post-Evaluation Recommendations Because there has already been reported discomfort in the lower back with the absence of lumbar support, the first recommendation to be made will involve Ashley’s sitting position. The first option would be to buy a chair which provides built-in lumbar support. Ideally, the new chair will allow for adjustable lumbar support for height as well as distance from back of seat to support Ashley’s lower back as much as possible. If a new chair is not available for use, the next best option would be to place a lumbar pillow, a small pillow, or thick folded blanket behind her lower back to provide adequate lumbar support (Figure 5). The next issue to be addressed is her arm and wrist placement. To reduce the angle between her upper arm and her body, she should raise her chair by one or two inches. This will reduce the extension of her arms to a safer level (Figure 6). Because raising her seat will increase the distance from the bottom of the chair to the floor, she will need to use some foot support, possibly provided by a small foot stool, stacked books, or any sturdy platform which will allow her feet to be planted evenly with good stability (Figure 5). To keep the flexion in her wrists to a minimum, it would be helpful to find support for the entire length of her forearm either with a wrist wrest which supports the whole length of the forearm, or a long folded towel (Figure 6). This will also raise her arms to a height which allows the wrists to remain at a neutral angle. Although the Apple keyboard provided is easy to use and manage, a wider or split keyboard is suggested for the future to increase the distance between hands while typing, bringing the hands closer to a neutral position. The initial position of the monitor may have been too high for her eyelevel, but adjusting the seat to stand two inches higher will amend this issue. Although the glare on the screen was not reported to be significant at the time of the evaluation, glare should be monitored in future use by adjusting the lighting in the room appropriately.

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COMPUTER WORKSTATION ASSESSMENT FORM User Name: Ashley Anderson Department: HF&E Supervisor name: Ryan Schabel

Phone: (xxx)xxx-xxxx Location: San Jose State University Phone: (xxx)xxx-xxxx

How many hours per day are spent working on a computer? 1 to 5 hours are spent on the computer depending on the project and more if it is a class day A. Firm posture support: Does chair firmly support a comfortable upright posture, providing support to the lower back region and avoiding pressure on the back of the thighs? Yes/ No Recommendations:  New chair adjustable for height and tilt of seatpan and backrest. Computer users should be able to adjust chairs from seated position without use of tools. Armrests, if provided, should be adjustable or removable.  Lumbar support cushion if chair does not provide adequate lower back support  Footrest if computer user’s feet do not rest firmly and comfortably on the floor Not to be used: o

Another chair swapped from within the department.

B. Work surface height: Does the height of the keyboard and pointing device allow the user’s forearms to be approximately parallel to the floor promoting a neutral/ flat position of the wrists? Yes No Recommendations:  A height adjustable keyboard tray that can be attached to an existing desk or table  A chair that is height adjustable; may need to provide footrest Not to be used o o

A height adjustable table A lower or higher table swapped from within the department

C. Screen height: Is the top of the display screen at eye level, lower for bi-focal wearers? Yes / No Recommendations:

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 None Not to be used: o o o o

Raise monitor by putting it on top of hard disk drive, boxes or books Adjustable monitor arm Bi-level table adjustable for screen and keyboard height Lower monitor by removing it from hard disk drive or other platform

D. Keyboard/Pointing Device: Alternative input devices may be helpful in promoting neutral (straight) wrist postures while typing and mousing, reduce awkward reaches to the mouse, and reduce force while typing or mousing. Recommendations:  Alternative keyboard

E. Wrist support: Wrist rests may be helpful in promoting a neutral/flat (straight) position of the wrists while resting. Recommendations:  Padded, movable wrist rest, same height as front of keyboard or pointing device F. Accessories: Workstation accessories may prevent awkward neck positions. Recommendations: Not to be used: o o

Document holder adjustable to screen height Telephone headset

G. Glare reduction: Elimination of glare helps to avoid eyestrain and awkward postures. Whenever possible, glare should be removed at the source. Suggestions:  Use blinds or curtains over windows when necessary  Turn off some lights; use task lighting, if needed  Remove some fluorescent bulbs, if necessary Not to be used: o o

Reposition monitor to avoid direct light in user’s eyes or screen Position monitor screen at right angle to window

H. Other, describe: Summary of Recommendations:  Use blinds or curtains over windows when necessary  Turn off some lights; use task lighting, if needed

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     

Remove some fluorescent bulbs, if necessary Padded, movable wrist rest, same height as front of keyboard or pointing device Alternative keyboard A height adjustable keyboard tray that can be attached to an existing desk or table A chair that is height adjustable; may need to provide footrest New chair adjustable for height and tilt of seatpan and backrest. Computer users should be able to adjust chairs from seated position without use of tools. Armrests, if provided, should be adjustable or removable.  Lumbar support cushion if chair does not provide adequate lower back support  Footrest if computer user’s feet do not rest firmly and comfortably on the floor

Target Date for Implementation: 10/28/2013 Evaluator’s signature: Ryan Schabel Date: 10/28/2013 Department’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program files

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Appendix

Name: Ashley Anderson

1. Shoe height

Measurement 80 mm

2. Thigh clearance

140 mm

3. Table thickness

40 mm

4. Resting elbow above (+) or below(-) table

-20 mm

5. Ht. of laptop kbd keys above table

10 mm

Dimension

Percentile

6. Skip – same as 11. below 7. *Arm length

685 mm

0.08

8. *Buttock-knee depth

560 mm

24.32

9. Buttock-popliteal depth

470 mm

10. *Popliteal height

485 mm

11. Thigh max thickness from seat

100 mm

12. *Sitting elbow height

280 mm

95.91

13. *Sitting eye height

710 mm

16.55

14. Sitting height

890 mm

15. Elbow functional grasp

65 mm

16. Elbow-to-elbow breadth

480 mm

17. Front edge of laptop to edge of table

200 mm

18. Back of laptop keyboard

335 mm

19. Top edge of screen to edge of table

520 mm

20. Elbow to edge of table

99.87

60 mm

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Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

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Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

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Figure 8

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Home Workstation Ergonomics Evaluation, 5 pages  

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