The term ‘ergonomics’ takes its origin from Greek and can be described in two words, work and law.
Basically, it can be explained as the analysis or study of the job or work. It aims at designing or creating the job in such a way that it meets the needs of the worker.
It works towards creating a working space in which all its related factors, processes and systems have been exclusively designed to meet the needs and requirements of the employees.
It encourages the workers to work in a healthy and positive manner devoid of all physical hazards, disasters or loss to the worker in all possible aspects.
By enabling the job to be more adaptive and comfortable, many hazards such as tendinitis, trigger finger, spinal complaints and much more are avoided to a good extent.
Ergonomics focuses on all aspects of work like physical stress factors such as joint, muscle, bones and nerves discomfort and damage to other environmental factors. In short, it aims at creating a convenient, user friendly and stress free working condition for the worker by providing products and systems that enable improved interaction, co-operation and comfort.
How to Improve Ergonomics in the Workplace?
Initiating and maintaining an ergo working space is one of the most important aspects of an organization or company. When the workers are happy and comfortable in their workplace, the productivity (learn more) of a company is increased enormously.
Some of the common benefits of an ergo office are as follows:
- It reduces costs a great deal by preventing the compensation costs that recur when the employees face health issues and other related hazards.
- It improves the productivity and output effectively. The good posture options and less stressful working space, incur more efficiency from the workers.
- It improves the quality of work as the workers feel more safe and comfortable and therefore can allot their entire focus and concentration on the work to be done.
- It improves the goodwill of the company and initiates a good relationship between the employer and the employees. When the company makes the required effort to take the workers best interests into consideration, the workers also feel obliged to give in their best shot in all that they do. It is totally a win-win situation.
It provides a safe working environment for all involved.
In order to take care of the worker’s comfort, focus should be allotted to the posture and other aspects as well.
When the posture is not correct, it can lead to many musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal disorder is basically tissue damage of the nerves, ligaments, joints, spinal discs and so on.
In order to prevent long term or chronic damage, corrective measures should be taken. Some of the ergonomic steps are discussed below:
In order to establish the right sitting posture, a good chair is a must. This prevents many spinal and neck based injuries and damage.
The height of the chair should be such that the foot rests comfortably on the floor or on a footrest. This enables free and enhanced blood circulation in the legs.
The armrest should be designed in a way that allows the entire arm to be rested comfortably and the material should be soft and soothing.
The backrest is of crucial importance as it supports the entire spinal system. The back rest should be wide and long enough to provide secure resting place for the entire back, especially the lower back. Incorrect back posture can cause spinal disc misplacement in the long run.
The seats of the chair should be adjustable to the height of the user and should be padded and rounded corners for extended comfort. Finally, the base of the chair should be secure, stable and come with a five legged option as it offers more security.
So, do you think you have an ergonomic chair at workplace/home? If not, get one without any further delay.
Ergonomic Computer Facilities:
In the modern day office scenario, almost all jobs require the workers to spend long hours in front of the computer screen.
This is one of the main reasons why the computer parts should be ergonomically supported for better posture and comfort.
It is recommended to have adjustable and removable keyboards, brightness control, contrast modifications, decreased distance between the screen and the user, suitable lighting and anti-glare options or filters among other comfortable functions.
Working for long hours at a stretch can be detrimental to health and also affect productivity adequately. Allowing beaks at regular intervals is a good way to refresh and relax the workers.
Vision breaks are very important and should be taken often, lasting from a few seconds to a minute. At regular intervals look away from the computer screen, relax and adjust your eyes and vision and then resume work again.
Task breaks are also good to provide more focus and change. If you have been doing just one type of work for long, take a break and adhere to other tasks and then get back to the previous one. In order to relax your body and muscle, go in for stretch breaks
Lighting undoubtedly, plays a very significant role in transforming the ergonomics of a working space. Low lighted conditions can lead to extensive strain, discomfort to the eyes and lead to fluctuating eye power and related damage. It is best advised to make the use of full spectrum lights as opposed to the traditional lighting options as the former are designed to offer increased brightness, durability and less strain to the vision.
Lighting should never be too high or too less and in order to have the right brightness, it is a good idea to consult the workers and then make the required changes or improvisations.
Too much of noise and disturbance can cause undue stress and irritation to the workers involved and also make it difficult for them to concentrate on the work to be done.
A good solution to reducing noise pollution is to identity all the equipment that create excess noise and then segregate and place them in different rooms away from the workers.
Employ panels that offer acoustical absorption. Arrange for regular equipment maintenance and servicing facilities for smooth and durable working of the equipment. Finally, a good alternative is to use earplugs, which is a simple, cost-effective and convenient solution!
How to Improve Ergonomics at Home?
Creating and maintaining an ergonomic friendly home is not just any old task, but a daunting one if you do not get the concept right.
Once you know where the struggle lies, it is a breeze to initiate the transformation of your home. We spend adequate time at home and one of the most important things to do is to make your home the most comfortable place you can ever be in.
Often times, we neglect how things and products work and as a result they cause a lot of physical and mental stress respectively. In order to avoid all this, the art of ergo comes into play. For some quick pointers continue reading.
Always opt for a cushion mat on the floor in your kitchen.
Standing for long hours on rough floor can make your legs, joints and back ache endlessly. When there is some sort of a soft support, it cushions the pain and you feel comfortable working in your space.
Try not to install too many taps in your sinks as too much of twisting and turning can affect your wrist over time. When it comes to storing things, always load them on shelves that you can reach easily, preferably between eye and knee level.
This will prevent unnecessary bending and straining of the back.
Similarly, make sure your refrigerator and other electronics are placed in a way that does not require frequent bending. For the purpose of chopping, better grip and ergonomically designed knives are available, which allow better and equal use of muscles.
For instance, this type of knife allows the muscles of the forearm and upper arm to be used which simplifies the task rather than having to balance unevenly and exerting wrong pressure that can lead to muscle and joint pain in your hands and arms.
Living Room Space:
Try as much as possible to adorn your house with furniture that is simple and light weight as too much heavy lifting can strain the back extensively. Go here to learn more: https://www.ergonomichealthhq.com/living-room-furniture/
Go for couches and sofas that are not too low or bouncy as they might affect your hip and lower back drastically.
While watching television, avoid uplifting or stretching your neck and head.
While eating, make it a point to always have your plate at a higher level which prevents the need to bend down for every morsel.
It is highly recommended to use a cervical designed pillow as it serves as a great support to your neck. At times, when you stay awake late in the night with a good book, always ensure that your neck and back is well rested or it might lead to a sharp pain in your spine and also lead to spondylitis in extreme cases.
Opt for a mattress that is not made out of foam or too much spring. The best type is the cotton filled mattresses as they are gentle on your back and offer good, stable support and deters all problems of the spine. And, to find great memory foam mattress toppers for your bedroom, head over here.
Design sinks and cabinets in a way that do not require you to bend over. Always have them at a good height, preferably near your shoulder or eye level.
Use mats wherever necessary as it will prevent you from slips and falls. Even if you do fall, you will land gently on the mats and save yourself the fracture. Another good tip is to service your faucets regularly so that you do not have to exert unnecessary pressure or stress to get them functioning. Too much pressure and twists can affect the wrist tendons.
These are some simple tips that you can follow to make your home and working space more comfortable and user friendly. The best approach is to first identity the problem, the requirements and then try creating suitable solutions for them. This way, you can make sure to cover all aspects of work and home in a systematic and improved manner.
So there you have it, a pretty comprehensive way to improve the ergonomics of both your office and your lovely home!
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