Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Thursday, September 03, 2015

Today I had the ergonomic assessment

One of the worst things about my desk/cubicle, is that it is set up to have a keyboard tray and mouse pad holder that utterly fails to work correctly when my body is interacting with it. It's too low, my chair could only go so low, I'd have to sit far back so as not to have my hands actually mousing and typing under the actual desk, and I had no arm support and was putting lots of effort into keeping my arms up, even though there were armrests on the chair, because they wouldn't work with the tray. I have short little arms, which meant almost everything was out of reach unless I put the tray in, which was difficult, as it tends to stick. So...

We moved the keyboard and mouse up on to the top of the desk and raised my chair, and the armrests. The chair itself, although pretty darn old (I'd say it's at least 15 years old--I've had it since before 2003 and it was our administrator's secretary's chair, who hasn't worked there in years, prior to being mine (it has her name on the bottom of it)), but it is still better than the newer ones we have in the library. Anyway, the occupational therapist went and got me some braces for my hands that work better than the gloves I was using, and then sewed extra length to the straps for me. We adjusted the monitor. I managed to bring my document holder to the correct height using a PDR, boxed book set, and an in/out box but still have it close enough to read and reach without strain. She is recommending an ergonomic keyboard such as the one I use at home, which will keep my hands and wrists supported and in a natural position, with my elbows firmly on the armrests. Right now I'm using a footrest I already had. My desk has been rearranged slightly so everything is in reach without straining. I'm closer to the screen, so I can read better. I have an old mousepad that's cover was frayed and rolling up back from the rest, which was exposed and and rubbed against my wrists, so I went by Office Depot today and got a mouse pad and support there (yes, I could have had them replace the other, but I don't mind, and this way I could choose something to brighten up the office. I'll just take it with me when I leave. It has a tree surrounded by lavender, and the beaded rest that I got is grey, but I put it in my laptop bag, replacing the purple one that is the same colour as the lavender on the mousepad that I'll move to the office.) She also gave me some exercises to help with my neck and shoulders, and encouraged me to continue the night splinting, but use the wrist braces during the part of the day (typically the afternoons, when I'm doing data entry) when I'm typing and clicking the most, so I don't over-brace and weaken the wrists and hands.

On that note, my wrists are really hurting. I think I'll break down and take some ibuprofen. Time to brace them and turn in for the night, now that my hiccups have finally stopped. :) Good night.

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