Are you experiencing neck and shoulder pain? Do your arms and elbows hurt? Or, are you bending over backwards at work to get things done? These are all symptoms of industrial ergonomic issues, and now we know what to do about them and who to call when we need professional help!
Barbara Tourtellott, President of Fit to Work, is right here in Point Loma. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California and has spent her entire career in occupational health. After 5 years with the Grossmont Hospital and 22 years with the Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, Barbara took her experience and started her own business, Fit to Work. For the last 9 years she has provided ergonomic consultation services for individuals and employers.
“Our bodies were designed to be hunters and gathers,” she said. “Sitting in a chair for 8 hours a day, banging on a keyboard and pushing around a mouse can create muscle strains and repetitive injuries our bodies were not designed to endure.” Her goal is to help people create a more effective and injury preventative workplace. “Do you know the average head weighs 12 pounds? When you lean too far forward or too far backward, you can increase the force on your neck and shoulder muscles to an effective weight of 36 pounds!”
Barbara provided some helpful hints for reducing stress on our bodies while working in an office environment. She suggests:
Sit in a proper chair. “Chairs are like shoes. They need to fit your body.”
Sit with proper posture. “Butt to the back of your chair, feet on the floor, minimal recline.”
Proper monitor height. “The top of the monitor should be at eye level.”
Proper monitor placement. “It should be close enough to read clearly.”
Proper keyboard height. “Your fingertips should be slightly below your relaxed elbow.”
Proper keyboard placement. “A relaxed distance from your body. Don’t reach.”
Move it. “Don’t stay seated too long. Get up and move at least once per hour.”
Use appropriate force. “On your keyboard, with your mouse, use only the force needed.”
Poor mouse fit. “Use the mouse or trackball that fits your hand comfortably.”
Look up. “Keep mobile devices at a comfortable eye level to reduce strain on your neck.”
If you want more suggestions or need specific ergonomic help. Give Barbara a call at Fit to Work!
San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, provided the Point Loma Optimist Club with a review of her first year on the job and her goals for the Police Department in the coming years. “America’s Finest!” It is not just a slogan, but a higher standard for which all members of the department are held accountable. “We want to create a culture of excellence,” the Chief proclaimed. “Where excellence is expected in everything we do and every interaction we have with the community.”
There are lots of interactions. Over 1.2 million calls from San Diego residents and visitors are made to the Police Department every year! Over 140 Community Meetings are held every month! And, countless interactions occur every day by officers, staff and volunteers of the department with the general public. Many of those interactions are now recorded on video!
Over 600 sworn officers are now equipped with “body cameras”. These small video recording devices have had a tremendous impact on promoting a culture of excellence. “Interactions have been ‘de-escalated’ by the presence of a body camera,” Chief Zimmerman reported. “Claims of officer harassment have been dramatically cut back and the workload of the Internal Affairs division has reduced significantly.” Over 95% of the officers have come to agreement on the policies surrounding the use of body cameras!
Chief Zimmerman joined the San Diego Police Department in 1982. During her 34 year history with SDPD she has worked numerous commands and received extensive experience throughout the department. She has received numerous awards for her undercover work, community involvement and commitment to San Diego. The Chief stated her vision in the simplest of terms, “I want us all to work together.” This vision starts with the law enforcement community, extends to all the departments within the City of San Diego, and is focused on the San Diego Community as a whole. “We can do so much more good for each other, if we all work together!”
Chief Zimmerman is a strong supporter of her Alma Mater, Ohio State University, and an avid sports fan. She expounds on the strength of Social Media and encourages the use of FaceBook, Twitter and Nextdoor.com. A woman of strength, vision, compassion and courage, we are all proud to call Shelly Zimmerman … Chief!