Dynamic Biofeedback Services

Serving the Greater Bay Area

THE ERGONOMICS LAB

 

Equipment:  A wide variety of keyboards and pointing devices (mouse, trackball, tablet, etc) for PC’s and Mac computers are available for trial and comparison. Surface EMG measurements of muscle activity can compare how much your muscles work using different types of equipment. Both arm and neck/shoulder sites are measured, depending on any symptoms or muscle fatigue you may feel.  Other physiological measures, such as temperature or respiration, can be included in the assessment.

Work Surfaces:  Sit-stand tables (straight and corner style) are used to identify comfortable heights. A keyboard tray may or may not be helpful to you personally. Adjustments can be made based on muscle readings and/or changes in hand temperature.

Chairs: A variety of sizes for people of all dimensions are located in the Ergonomics Lab for you to try out. It is helpful to find a comfortable chair and adjust it for you before identifying a good work surface height. When you have a good existing chair, the type and dimensions will be simulated during your visit.

Handwriting: Some of you may have pain or discomfort with this task. Surface EMG and hand temperature measurements are valuable tools to guide posture, writing surface placement, modification of writing habits, and assessment of the value of alternative writing devices.

Work Style Retraining: This is a process of increasing awareness of how you are using your muscles and body as you perform work. Watching the visual feedback gives you an opportunity to understand the possible strain your body experiences as you work. It also allows you to modify your habits (such as: sitting straighter, relaxing shoulders, keying with a “neutral” wrist, or softening your hold on your pen).

             These changes may be small and subtle, or they may seem very significant in magnitude. The immediacy of feedback reinforces helpful efforts. Sometimes, the changes in feedback correlate with small sensory changes that you do not know how to recognize when you start. A huge benefit of working with biofeedback is developing the inner awareness to identify these cues for independent “self-regulation”. This means that you can maintain and strengthen these changes based on your improved level of body awareness.

Education regarding ergonomic principles and body mechanics is intertwined throughout every visit to the ergonomics lab. These tools prepare you for enhanced self-care throughout your future.

 

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