Ergonomic are the principle that allows us to work throughout the day without severe back pain by the end of it. They’re what makes the chair look like what it does, the table has the height it does and so on. Without ergonomics, we’d be working on a laptop from the height of a bar stool on a kids table.
The basics are usually done for us, but there are a few more ways we can ergonomically improve the environment around us to stay pain-free at work.
The first we need to do is to make sure we have our back in a proper position. If we do not, we are going to feel it at the end of a few hours. It doesn’t really matter whether we are sitting down or standing up – our back needs to be straight.
A lot of people tend to arch their back while bending over to pick up something, working on a computer or even while standing up without moving (for example, while waiting for a printer). This doesn’t hurt at first, but within a few hours, it is going to. Soon enough, the long-term damage might follow if we don’t correct our posture.
While sitting, the feet need to comfortably rest on the floor and our knees should be at about the same height of our hips. The chair needs to offer proper lumbar support that takes into account our lordotic curve.
Moreover, objects we use on a regular basis should be kept near us so we avoid stretching too much. If we aren’t going to work out, stretching isn’t really going to do any good. If there’s something we can reach but need to stretch to do so, the ergonomically correct thing to do is to stand up and walk towards it.
The monitor should be placed directly in front of the person, about 50-70 centimeters away. The screen shouldn’t be too bright or too dark, nor should it have too much bright light coming out of it. The goal is to make it as neutral to our eyes as possible in order to avoid any possible damage.
Failure to follow ergonomic guidelines might look like it has nothing to do with work injuries or other types of problems, but it certainly does. Ergonomics don’t just allow us to work properly and in a healthy way, they also allow us to save up a lot of energy we would otherwise be wasting in attempting not to get injured.
Stretching too much at work and staring into a very bright screen force our body to cope with the damage that is being done, which results in a huge loss of energy that could otherwise be used to do more work, increasing productivity and allowing people to rest properly later on, as stress and fatigue would also be reduced.
Moreover, being physically fit is crucial to avoid work-related pain as our body needs to be ready for most activities we do on a regular basis, something that can only be achieved by overdoing these activities with the use of physical exercise. It doesn’t have to be intense physical exercise, nor does it have to be a complete workout plan.
Playing sports once in a while or choosing a cardiovascular exercise can help us in ways we can’t even imagine.
If you would like to know more about ergonomics, visit Physio and More at www.physioandmore.co.uk
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