Sitting at a desk all day can cause musculoskeletal problem: A new survey reveals that 74 percent of office workers experience pain a few times a week or more while sitting at their desks. Additionally, more 70 percent of respondents endured back pain and more than half felt eyestrain or headaches in the last 3 years. Nearly 10 percent of workers, meanwhile, experience pain all day long while sitting at their desks.
(Ref: www.EHS today.com)
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) are conditions in which:
- The work environment and performance of work contribute significantly to the condition; and/or
- The condition is made worse or persists longer due to work conditions1
In 1997, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a review of evidence for work-related MSDs. Examples of work conditions that may lead to Work related Musculoskeletal disorder due to routine lifting of heavy objects, daily exposure to whole body vibration, routine overhead work, work with the neck in chronic flexion position, or performing repetitive forceful tasks.
This report identified positive evidence for relationships between work conditions and musculoskeletal disorders of the neck, shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist, and back.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor defines musculoskeletal disorders as musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases and disorders when the event or exposure leading to the case is bodily reaction (e.g., bending, climbing, crawling, reaching, twisting), overexertion, or repetitive motion. musculoskeletal disorders do not include disorders caused by slips, trips, falls, or similar incidents. Examples of musculoskeletal disorders include:
- Sprains, strains, and tears
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Neck pain
- Elbow pain(tennis elbow)
- Wrist pain
Musculoskeletal disorders are associated with high costs to employers such as absenteeism, lost productivity, and increased health care, disability, and worker’s compensation costs. Musculoskeletal disorders cases are more severe than the average nonfatal injury or illness.
Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capability of the working population .The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks. A workplace ergonomics program can aim to prevent or control injuries and illnesses by eliminating or reducing worker exposure to WMSD risk factors using engineering and administrative controls.. Risk factors include awkward postures, repetition, material handling, force, mechanical compression, vibration, temperature extremes, glare, inadequate lighting, and duration of exposure. For example, employees who spend many hours at a workstation may develop ergonomic-related problems resulting in musculoskeletal disorders.
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