Ergonomics is the science which has its focus on the “match” between people and their work environment. It puts people’s welfare first, taking account of their capabilities and limitations within the workplace.
The goal of ergonomics is to ensure that work tasks, equipment used, information and the environment suit each worker in order to maintain health and safety standards.
Why is Ergonomics Important? Ergonomic improvements are specific to the worker and their demands upon their body. The ergonomic demands of an office worker vary significantly from a manual job such as a labourer. An employee may be fit or physically capable for one occupation and not another. That’s the basic point, we’re all different shapes and sizes and our workplace setup and practices can vary on an individual basis. This is where an ergonomic assessment for the individual worker is important.
Ergonomics can roughly be defined as the study of people in their working environment. More specifically, an ergonomist designs or modifies the work to fit the worker, not the other way around. The goal is to eliminate discomfort and risk of injury due to work. In other words, the employee is our first priority in analyzing a workstation.
So what tips can you put into practice straight away to improve your Ergonomics? This obviously depends on your environment. However, lets take a desk based worker. We see so many problems with these.
We recommend people have a good lumbar support. We also recommend that people have their monitor top at approximately eye level. Everything also needs to be symmetrical. If you spend 8 hours on the phone, try not to have the phone always on the same side. If you always use two monitors, don’t have one at 90 degrees to your sitting position. Otherwise you will get neck pain from looking one way over and over again.
We generally work on a rule of 90 degrees. Elbows 90 degrees, knee’s 90 degrees. We like these angles because naatomically it is not stressing our body. Try to implement these steps to ensure we are sitting in good posture.
However, last point, and probably the most important.
Move as much as you can.
Do not sit in the same position for more than 30 minutes at a time. Movement is key as we are not built to sustain any position for too long!
For further information about ergonomics and how we can improve your ergonomic setup, get in touch now!