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Re: overuse injuries (3 messages) ERCELAA@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu 18 Mar 1998 14:15 UTC

3 messages:


Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 08:51:58 -0500
From: "hanks, nancy" <nancy.hanks@SRU.EDU>
Subject: Re: overuse injuries (Isabel Brackbill)

At 04:30 PM 3/17/98 -0600, you wrote:
>Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 14:37:18 -0700
>From: ibrackbill@LANL.GOV
>Subject: overuse injuries
>We are plagued with overuse injuries to our library staff (carpal tunnel
>syndrome, tendonitis). This is especially prevalent with the staff in the
>serials section, where journal check-in and binding are done, as well as
>with the catalogers who spend long hours keyboarding and handling books.
>I would like to know if this is a problem in other libraries and what
>solutions have been taken to avoid this. Having an ergonomically correct
>work station has not prevented these injuries at our library. Are there any
>libraries out there that have successfully addressed these problems?
>Isabel Brackbill
>Serials Cataloger
>Research Library
>Los Alamos National Laboratory
>Los Alamos New Mexico

Some reading that I have found useful includes:
        Montgomery, Kate.
        Carpal tunnel syndrome : prevention & treatment, a non-
        surgical, drug free approach
        3rd ed.
        San Diego, CA : Sports Touch Publishing, 1994.

        Pascarelli, Emil F., 1930-
        Repetitive strain injury : a computer user's guide
        New York : J. Wiley, c1994.

One of the easiest, cheapest but hardest to actually remember to do ways of
reducing repetitive strain injuries seems to be to just get up and move -
stretch in place, go get a drink, whatever EVERY 30 minutes.  I rarely
manage this at work although at home I set a timer.

Varying work also helps if this is possible.  While I do ALOT of my work on
the computer, not all of it requires the mouse (I know I don't position my
hand properly for the mouse while I do for the keyboard); therefore, if my
wrist starts hurting I try to change projects and get away from the mouse
for awhile.

I also had tendonitis problems in my left elbow last spring.  It took me
about three weeks to figure out that the previous fall I had rearranged my
office and my book truck had ended up on my left instead of my right.  Six
months later...problems.  I rearranged my office again to get my book truck
back on my right and the problem gradually cleared up.  I'm also more
careful these days to pick up heavy books with both hands.  I.e., sometimes
a small change can make a big difference.

Also, and the books help with this, check the workstations - are the
keyboards at the right height, the monitors? Do you have ergonomic chairs -
this is not a luxury these days! (Although rereading your message suggests
you have already checked this part.) I also bought (my money) a Microsoft
ergonomic keyboard which I really like.  You might get one and let everyone
try it.  Some people don't like them but I've found it helps.  I just tucked
the away the one that came with the computer so it can go with the computer
when it gets swapped around in the next upgrading phase.

Hope this helps.
Nancy S. Hanks
Serials Librarian               Phone:  (724) 738-2658
Bailey Library                  Fax:    (724) 738-2661
Slippery Rock University        Email:
Slippery Rock, PA  16057


Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 14:47:00 -0800
From: Mike Scully <mscully@SWEDISH.ORG>
Subject: overuse injuries

We recently finished discussing this at some length in the libsup-l (library
support staff) discussion list, and the topic just came up again today in
the form "how do I access the list archives for...." because the archives
would provide proof it is a widespread problem in libraries (carpal-tunnel,
et al.).

If I succeed at finding out myself about the libsup-l archives, I'll let the
list know.

Mike Scully            * Reference Library      * 206/386-2484
Library Systems Coord./* Swedish Medical Center * 206/386-3570 (fax)
WMLA QuickDOC          * 747 Broadway           *
Representative         * Seattle WA  98122-4307 *


Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 18:46:47 -0500
From: Beverly Butler <bbutler@VMS1.CC.UOP.EDU>
Subject: Re: overuse injuries (Isabel Brackbill)

These injuries are common to library staff, from the information I've found.
I have tendinitis and carpal tunnel, as result of what is called "double
crush" or working with a minor injury.  Please post results to the list or
send a copy to me.  Thanks

Beverly Butler
McGeorge School of Law Library
3282 5th Avenue
Sacramento, CA  95670
(916) 739-7220