What is Ergonomics Anyway?

Do you ever notice those nagging aches and pains after sitting at your desk for too long, or when you stand up suddenly feeling so stiff? What could be the cause? Am I just getting old? NO!! It’s your desk that’s hurting you!

These little aches and pains are your bodies way of letting you know that something needs attention.

You may have heard the term Ergonomics before, and probably have a chair that has 3 million knobs and handles all designed to help that chair fit you perfectly, but you were never really shown how any of it works, so you just adjust the seat up or down until its “good enough” and then continue to have aches and pains with an unknown cause.

Ergonomics is the science concerned with fitting the job task to the physical and mental capabilities of the worker (Ontario.ca). Introducing and applying ergonomics to your workplace has been proven to reduce injuries, health disorders and improve productivity and quality of work. This means those nagging aches and pains are likely due to repetitive strain, overuse, and poor postures or movement patterns.

Here are some useful Tips & Tricks to apply to your work-space to make it more ergonomic!

1) Keep frequently used items in the Power Zone! (within arms reach).

2) Take rest breaks! Switch between sitting and standing or get up and stretch!

3) Give your eyes a break! Every hour take 20 seconds to look away from your screen to focus on something farther away.

4) Think relaxed! use a light grip on the mouse, and soft key stroke to avoid over exerting forearm muscles.

5) Think neutral! Keep wrists relaxed, use supports for micro-breaks only.

6) Get assessed! Have an expert come to your office and assess and adjust your workstation! These specially trained individuals can help you optimize your set up and recommend the right products for you.

Hopefully this little snapshot can help make your workday better and a little easier on your body.

For more information on how to incorporate or evaluate office ergonomics in your workplace contact Michelle Wielink, a Registered Kinesiologist and Ergonomic therapist michelle.wielink@windsorsquashfitness.ca

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