Why is Microscopy ergonomic important?
Finding the right working posture and working comfortably is what ergonomics is about. Ergonomics has become the subject of attention among companies for the past 50 years and applied in factories, offices, laboratories and most workplaces. Ergonomics has proven to play an important role in relation to the employee’s job satisfaction, stress level and productivity in general. Therefore, laboratories/companies try to find a right fit between the operator and the microscope.
Figure 1. Injuries that occurs when using a standard microscope
Working with a microscope positions the upper body as shown in the illustration. The user’s head and arms are held in a forward position; the shoulders are rounded to incline towards the microscope. This posture puts the soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and joints at a risk of irritation. In addition to that the microscope work also causes eye strain and even permanent injuries, with continuous inattentive use.
The most common medical problems when operating microscopes:
Table 1 – The Percentage of the Medical Problems reported by Microscope Operators.
Ergonomically designed workplaces and products are essential for a workers wellbeing, motivation and efﬁciency, as microscopy workstations place a far higher strain on the user than any other product. Just by changing the posture of the body and arms, helps prevent the future injuries that occurs. The combination of sitting with a microscope in a fixed position and repetitive hand movements carries the risk of strain to neck muscles. Hence, most vulnerable places in the body when using a standard microscope is mainly the spine, shoulder and the neck muscles.
Figure 2. The right posture when using a microscope
When looking at figure 2, the arm and the shoulder are placed on the table close to the body, the cervical spine upright and the microscope height adjusted to the worker’s physic, this is the correct way of positioning the body when working several hours with a microscope.
What can be done to prevent future injuries?
As mentioned earlier, ergonomics has become a topic of increasing importance in the workplace throughout the past several decades. Throughout this period, it has become clear that, in order to work safely and efficiently, new technologies and products needs to account for human and environmental factors.
Activities to develop and improve microscope work should not only be directed towards the ergonomics of the workstations, but also towards the microscopes.
DeltaPix ErgoFocus can contribute to an improved comfort and security for improved efficiency when working with microscopes. ___________________________________________________________
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