Fitness professionals strive to help clients enhance their health and reduce the risk of injury; however, they may be missing a large piece of the training puzzle if they aren’t addressing a client’s work-related training needs. While most clients may not be professional athletes, they are in fact “occupational athletes,” meaning they spend 40 or more hours a week on the job. Depending on where they work, they may encounter heavy lifting, awkward positions and repetitive tasks, all of which can lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) such as carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff disorders and back injuries. These WMSDs don’t just serve as obstacles to training; they negatively affect quality of life.

Computer Workstation Setup

When you are setting up an ergonomically correct computer workstation, the goal is to find a position that places the least amount of stress on the body.

  • Spine and neck should be in neutral.
  • Shoulders are relaxed and hanging straight down.
  • Elbows are flexed 90 degrees.
  • Forearms are parallel to the floor.
  • Wrists are in neutral position.
  • Feet are on the floor or on a footrest.

The above points can be achieved by

  • using a fully adjustable chair with lumbar support that allows the worker to sit back;
  • centering the monitor in front of the person, at arm’s length and eye level;
  • using a document holder, in line with the computer screen;
  • using a stable keyboard tray with the mouse on the same level; and
  • using a telephone headset to avoid “cradling” the phone.

To learn more about ergonomics, please see “How to Train Clients for the Workplace” in the online IDEA Library or in the February 2015 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.