Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ergonomic Laboratory Seating

The need for ergonomic laboratory seating ...

"Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs), an occupational illness, has increased exponentially in the past couple of years. Cumulative trauma disorder encompasses various musculoskeletal disorders which involve muscles, bones, tendons, etc. Musculoskeletal disorders are mainly caused due to repetitive motion and/or improper static posture which result in undue stress and strain to body parts, especially to the lumbar region. You could safeguard your body from irreversible damage by adhering to proper seating posture and using appropriate seating equipment. Remember the old adage - prevention is better than cure.

Statistics released by the U.S department of labor reveal that over 60% of musculoskeletal disorders are caused due to repetitive motions, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis being the most common ones. Laboratory workers, as most of their counterparts, are not immune to such cumulative trauma disorders. Laboratory work usually involves microscopes and pipettes. While using these instruments, lab workers undertake repetitive motion and frequently maintain awkward unsupported posture. This often results in CTDs such as lower back and neck pain.

Laboratory seating equipment us made up of different material as compared to office seating equipment to withstand corrosive chemicals, moisture and static. It also incorporates specialized designs to suit different table heights and multiple users. Besides this, ergonomically designed laboratory chairs and stools provide a comfortable seating solution. While selecting a laboratory chair it is imperative to ensure that it includes a height adjusting mechanism, 360 degree swivel base and appropriate back support for optimum comfort.

Ergonomically designed laboratory seating is however not the be all and end all to cumulative trauma disorders. It is important to pay attention to symptoms of CTDs and consult a doctor as soon as possible. Apart from this, it is advisable to take frequent breaks and avoid repetitive motions as much as possible. It is also recommended to avoid awkward postures and do exercise to flex your muscles. All of these coupled with ergonomic seating will go a long way in preventing cumulative trauma disorders. You would probably find many more ways to reduce stress in your work environment but self evaluation and correction should be given paramount importance.

Ergonomic laboratory seating plays a crucial role in building a stress free work environment and helps workers lead a healthy life."    (Continued via Ezine Articles, Rakesh Soni)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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