Ever find yourself sitting all day to type out a paper or report? Or working intensely on your laptop or desktop to get a job done?
Then hours into it you think, “I need a stretch break!”
By the time you move, your muscles and bones aren’t impressed. Maybe you try to walk it off. Maybe you have your favorite stretch routine. But now you are a little more fatigued. You may start to think of better things you could be doing right now. The last thing you want to be doing is finishing that report.
Ergonomics is “The study of people’s efficiency in their working environment”.
According to Work Safe BC: Ergonomics matches workplace conditions and job demands to a person’s capabilities, to improve worker safety and productivity. Applying the science of ergonomics can be especially helpful in reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injury (MSI), which is the most common work-related injury in B.C.
I’ve actually never thought of ergonomics helping my productivity. It makes sense that the more at ease your posture is, the better you can work, and longer, and therefore, more efficient and productive.
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get training in how to sit or stand when working. Oh sure I remember hearing “Stand up straight!” or, “Don’t slouch!”. And I’ve seen the posture posters, but it wasn’t until recently that I thought to check myself and really evaluate my posture.
Poor or static posture, and task repetition, are some of the biggest risks to our physical health in the workplace. Typically we neglect and take for granted our physical health. We think that our bodies can put up with the way we work. We may not even realize that we are holding ourselves in a way that is putting stress on certain body parts, that perhaps has already lead to an injury.
Our very own Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) committee has some wonderful resources to help evaluate your work station and posture. Check out their SharePoint site and then check out your posture here:
There are quick tips or long checklists depending on how much help you want with your posture. These resources are great and I encourage you to look through them.
If you are finding soreness and stiffness just won’t go away, no matter what you do, you may want to seek professional help. There are a plethora of options covered by TWU benefits, from chiropractor, to massage, to acupuncture.
Paying attention to Ergonomics now, could save you from suffering in the future. No one wants to be working a job that turns out to be a pain in the neck!
Image credit: http://muscleandjoint.ca/office-ergonomics/