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Ergonomics 101

Original content from Zywave

er·go·nom·ics:  [ur-guh-nom-iks] (noun)

The study of how you perform daily work tasks and the correction of trouble spots before aches and pains due to repetitive motion, awkward postures or poor lifting techniques set in.

Working through pain can cause disabling injuries, potentially ending your career. That’s why it’s important to practice good ergonomics.

Am I at Risk?

The way your workplace is configured may determine your risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder over time. Improper positioning in your workstation can cause various disorders due to reaching or straining unnecessarily. If you are regularly bending or twisting to do regular tasks, your risk of developing a disorder is much higher. However, if you follow some basic guidelines, you can prevent injury and pain.

Warming Up

Moving the body in ways it is not ready to move and using muscle groups that haven’t been primed for work can be a major cause of pain. Basic stretching exercises for hands, wrists, back and neck help prepare our bodies for work. Stretch your neck gently from side to side and then from front to back. Stretch your back while sitting in a chair by bending your chin toward your knees.

Keep it Moving

One of the best ways to avoid repetitive motion injuries and other ergonomics-related problems is to take frequent breaks. While on your break, stretch your muscles and then rest. If you are sitting, stand up and stretch. If you have been working on a detailed task, stop and stretch your hands and wrists. If you have been standing for long periods of time, sit down and stretch your back. If possible, mix up your work tasks to provide variety throughout the day.

If you feel that your workstation or job tasks need to be revamped to provide better variety, organization or body positioning, talk to your supervisor.  believes that everyone deserves to work pain-free.