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Ergonomics for Nomads

Take a look at this article for ergonomic pearls with travelling and temporary workstations. Comprehensive review of sound workstation setup in the face of inherent vairables in temporary workstations. I appreciate the links to specific products and hope you enjoy this article!

 

Ergonomics for Nomads

The Importance of Neutral Wrist

Imagine you are about to reach for a glass of water. Your thumb is in line with your forearm, your wrist is slightly bent back, and your fingers are curved and relaxed. In short, your hand holds no tension and is comfortable. This position is called neutral wrist.

 

In neutral wrist, your hand has the best biomechanical advantage for efficient function. This is because this position produces the least amount of tension on all the muscles and tendons of the hand, thus optimizing your muscles for proper leverage. Simply put, neutral wrist refers to a position where all your major forearm muscles are engaged to maintain this balanced posture.

 

Think of your wrist as a BRIDGE and not as a hinge. When you pick up objects, keep your wrist slightly bent back and place the object into the palm of your hand instead of just using your fingertips. If you bend your wrist forward to pick up objects, your grip is weakened because you cannot use your muscles as efficiently, losing the biomechanical advantage.

 

You can use neutral wrist for typing (float hands above the keys rather than anchoring the wrists), driving (minimize over gripping the steering wheel), or at even at rest. In exercising, avoid excessively bending your wrist too far in either direction repetitively. 

Importance of Neutral Wrist.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [446.7 KB]

Contrast Bath

I recommend contrast baths to relief pain, swelling, or a sensation of fullness in the hand. This can be done if there are no open wounds on the hand. Begin by filling two sinks or two bins that are large enough to place your hand or arm without bending the wrist.  Soak you arm in the hot water for one minute, then in the cold water for one minute. Alternate back and forth for ten minutes at one minute intervals.  The contrasting temperatures help the vessels to dilate and contrast which pumps the swelling out and the blood in.   For severe cases of swelling you can add ¼ cup of Epsom Salt and ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar to the hot water to assist in drawing out the swelling.  Most people report their hand feels refreshed and lighter.  Make sure to dry the hands well, especially between the webspaces of the fingers. This does not substitute for keeping the hands elevated to alleviate swelling. 

Helping Hands

There are many devices that are designed to relieve hand stress and strain.  Keep an eye on this blog as it grows.  I’d like to include pictures and commentary on how the device is helpful.  This is a long handle reacher that has suction cups to grab objects. It is a light weight tool with a trigger handle easy to pull with all the fingers and avoids awkward reaching.  Have you ever used one? What do you think of it? I will post your comments on the blog page. 

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