At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Define ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
- Describe MSD risk factors
- Describe MSD symptoms and prevention
- Identify proper lifting technique
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What is a musculoskeletal disorder?
An injury or illness that affects the nerves, tendons, muscles, and/or supporting structure of the body. These are known as MSDs and often occur at the workplace.
What is ergonomics?
The science of fitting the workplace to the worker, instead of the worker to the workplace, to reduce the risk of MSDs.
What are MSD risk factors?
Motion-based activities, the physical work environment, and social and psychological factors.
What are some motion-based risk factors for MSDs?
Awkward postures and positions, forceful exertions, repetitive motions, duration of exertion, vibration, and contact stress.
What are some MSD symptoms?
Muscle aches; sudden, stabbing pain; weak, numb, burning, and/or tingling sensations; cramping; and stiffness.
What can be done to reduce MSK risk factors when sitting at an office desk?
Properly arrange the work area, desk, chair, computer monitor, mouse, keyboard, and lighting; use good sitting posture; practice safe lifting techniques when lifting.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
Many jobs in office environments require workers to sit at workstations, for extended periods of time. Working with an awkward posture or position during this time, can increase stress on your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and back. Examples of awkward postures and positions commonly assumed during office work include standing or sitting with your back rounded or your shoulders slouched. Bending your wrists when using the keyboard. Holding your elbows away from your body, overextending your arms while typing, and making long reaches for office supplies. In addition to potentially causing MSDs, working in an awkward posture or position can cause increased fatigue and decreased productivity throughout the workday.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) – www.osha.gov
- OSHA Safety and Health Topics - https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/
- OSHA eTools - https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/oshasoft/index.html
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – www.cdc.gov/niosh/
- NIOSH Workplace Safety & Health Topics - http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ergonomics/