Here are some examples of what can go wrong: Eye strain, shoulder and neck problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, back problems and the list can go on.
It is very important for the younger assistants to use good practices now to avoid problems in the future. Some things I have found to be important are the following:
- good posture at your work station;
- adjusting your chair to the proper height;
- setting your screen to the proper eye level;
- adjusting the glare on your computer;
- being able to rest your forearms on something while mousing and typing;
- using an adjustable document holder for reading and typing.
These are just a few hints I recently received as a result of an ergonomic assessment of my workstation and they have improved my comfort level at work a great deal.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety have a site1 with some helpful health and safety tips for office workers.
Here is another health and safety article2 from the Institute for Work & Health.
1 Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Office Ergonomics, http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/office/ (accessed October 9, 2007)
2 Institute for Work & Health, Institute for Work & Health experts available to discuss issues affecting the health of workers, http://www.iwh.on.ca/media/20070828_experts.php (accessed October 9, 2007)