Ergonomic Resources & Articles
Seasonal Tips to prevent injury
Computer Workstation Checklist
Gardening tips to avoid muscle strain

Gardening involves a tremendous amount of muscular activity, just like
a sport, you would never play a sport without stretching first. There is
extensive bending involved and  gardening is especially hard on the
back and legs.  If muscles are stiff when they're put to work they get
strained.  Working with cold back and hamstring muscles is especially
dangerous.  Cold hamstrings put an extra strain on back muscles.  Cold
back muscles tend to twist the vertebrae, which can pinch nerves and
cause sciatica.  Gardeners are also frequent victims of tennis elbow,
another problem that can be avoided by doing some simple arm and
wrist stretches.  Incorporate some warm-ups beforehand, walk around
the yard, do tai chi or stretch for 5 to 10 minutes. This will allow blood
flow to the muscles, making them more limber.

It's especially important for people with osteoarthritis to limber up before
they start working in the garden.  Arthritis makes joints swollen and stiff
and some arthritis sufferers have trouble bending, knelling, and
gripping handles.  Stretching helps gently mobilize the joints and makes
the tasks that follow easier to perform and even light gardening can help
improve arthritis.  Studies have shown that gentle exercise can help
relieve arthritic pain and slow down the progression of the disease. Once
you are limbered up, there are plenty of ways to take some of the
physical effort out of gardening. Many people plant raised beds to take
the strain off of their back.  You can sit or kneel next  to them, or if you
decide to stand, you don't need to bend down as far to reach the plants.  
Gardening expert Marjorie Harris swears by ergonomic hand tools.  
They're light weight and have bent handles, which reduces the stain on
wrists by keeping them in a neutral position.  Long handled tools can
also help keep bending to a minimum.  Harris favors a 36 inch garden
claw with attachments, planting bulbs and loosening soil.

The condition of Fibromyalgia creates many challenges for a person with this
disorder. These challenges often go far beyond the characteristic chronic pain
which alone can be potentially debilitating. Those with Fibromyalgia have pain in
many locations and the presence of multiple pain sites is often confusing to their
doctor or doctors. Family physicians, internists, endocrinologists, and even pain
management specialists and rheumatologists often have great difficulty in
comprehending the full extent of Fibromyalgia and the serious health and
well-being issues that are caused by the disorder.

Persons with Fibromyalgia have so many symptoms that an uninformed physician
may find it easier to refer such patients to a psychologist or psychiatrist. But the
physical symptoms of Fibromyalgia are real. The sufferers have widespread pain on
a chronic basis. Additional symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbances,
numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, joint stiffness, and cognitive
dysfunction (brain fog). Depression commonly affects those with Fibromyalgia.

Owing to the presence of so many chronic symptoms, Fibromyalgia is notoriously
difficult to treat. Such patients are typically taking multiple medications,
prescribed by multiple specialists attempting to combat the problems that fall
within their particular branch of medicine - pain management, rheumatology, and

Despite taking several medications on a long-term basis, most Fibromyalgia
patients tend not to improve. Depression and chronic pain take a profound toll,
and daily living becomes quite burdensome. Many Fibromyalgia patients despair of
ever finding even a partial solution.

Attempts to address the problems of Fibromyalgia by just treating the symptoms
often fail. As the physiologic causes of the disorder are unknown, holistic
approaches have a much greater likelihood of success. Multidisciplinary treatment
is needed to impact this systems-wide disorder, including chiropractic care,
nutritional recommendations, psychological counseling, and a gradual return to
increased levels of physical activity and exercise.(1, 2, 3)

1Schneiderr M, et al: Chiropractic management of Fibromyalgia syndrome: a
systematic review of the literature. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 32(1):25-40, 2009
2Hauser W, et al: Guidelines on the management of Fibromyalgia syndrome. A
systematic review. Eur J Pain 14(1):5-10, 2010
3Busch AJ, et al: Exercise for Fibromyalgia: a systematic review. J Rheumatol
35(6):1130-1144, 2008

Back Straight & buttocks pushed to the rear of chair.
              Ears-Shoulders-Hips in a straight line
              Lumbar spine supported in a natural forward curve
              Upper arms vertical to floor in any position
Elbow tips level with center of keyboard
              Forearms-Wrists-Hands in a straight line
              Avoid bending hands up/down or twisting to either side during         
              Forearms to upper arms at 90* or slightly greater angle
              Elbows in toward body
              Pivot forearms at elbow joints for side-to-side hand monitors
              Mouse pad placed at same distance as keyboard

Thighs-to-Torso at 90* or slightly greater angle
              Knees lower than hips-chair seat should not press into back of knees
              Lower legs to thighs at 90* or slightly greater angle

Top of monitor screen at eye level
              Center of viewing surface 15-20* below horizon & one arms length away
              Monitor screen & work surface free of glare & reflections
              Reading/Reference material close to monitor screen at same distance
              from eyes
              Monitor screen clean, free of dust/film & static

 Sufficient light for reading materials
              Control drafts, excessive heat & air pollutants
              Change sitting positions during the day
              Take brief breaks at least every hour
              Reduce mental stress & physical discomfort.
Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain