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Anyone who works in a law office knows that the work can be emotionally stressful, but many office workers these days are finding it can be physically damaging, too. Long hours at the computer can result in musculoskeletal disorders, eyestrain and other afflictions. The Web is a good place to find valuable information on the problems, as well as advice on how to prevent or mitigate those repetitive-motion injuries. Some commercial sites are designed to sell products or services, but university and government sites can be counted on for objective help. Here is a sample of the sites that can help: OSHA www.osha-slc.gov/ergonomics- standard This detailed site covers the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s final rule on ergonomics. The section with frequently asked questions covers the nuts-and-bolts of the rule. A sample question is “Does the Ergonomics Program Standard require employers to put in expensive controls and automate all their jobs?” (The short answer is “no,” but the long answer provides plenty of detail.) ABA Law Practice Today www.abanet.org/lpm/ magarticle11944_front.shtml The American Bar Association’s online magazine published this article, “Become an Industrial Athlete: Ergonomic Don’s Guide to Preventing Office Injuries” by Donald A. Dennis, in its May-June 2000 issue. The article is an overview of ergonomic injuries, with practical tips on how to avoid them and be more comfortable at work. Cornell University ergo.human.cornell.edu Go to the “Research and Tools” section to find detailed advice on ergonomics, some of which is the result of university studies. For instance, one of the 10 pointers in the pointer section advises against using a wrist support with a mouse because “research has shown that using a wrist rest doubles the pressure inside the carpal tunnel.” Office Ergonomics www.office-ergo.com This site focuses on issues relevant to office workers, leaving general industrial ergonomics to others. Sections cover hands and wrists, back pain, eyestrain, ergonomic chairs and more. A report on monitor placement advises computer users to place the monitor much lower than traditionally dictated by conventional wisdom. UCLA Ergonomics For Internet Explorer: ergonomics.ucla.edu/ Ergowebv2.0/ office_ergonomics.htm For Netscape (no frames): ergonomics.ucla.edu/ Ergowebv2.0/articles/ office_front_page.htm The information on this site is basic, but it’s a good place to start. Some topics are “25 Ergonomic Tips for Computer Users,” “Workstation Myths,” “Preventing Injuries at Computer Workstations,” “Computer Workstation Setup,” “Selecting a Chair” and “Keyboard Trays.” NIOSH www.cdc.gov/niosh/ ergopage.html Some of the material at this National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health site is a few years old, but the reports on ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders have some valuable information. Most of these articles go beyond the basics and report on scientific studies with titles such as “NIOSH Exploratory Study on Keyboard Design Finds No Major Differences in User Comfort, Fatigue.”

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