Barbara Tourtellott, President of Fit to Work – 3/3/15

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!

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