Technically, ergonomics is "the study of work." Ergonomics focuses on providing comfort, efficiency, and safety by studying how you interact with your environment, and ways it can be improved. At East Lake Chiropractic and Medical Center in St. Cloud, we often see patients who have sustained a work injury due to poor ergonomics.
The most obvious benefit of workplace ergonomics is that they help prevent work injury. These injuries include back pain and injury, neck stiffness, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition to employees missing fewer days, ergonomics contributes to happier and more productive employees.
One of the simplest ergonomic tips is taking breaks. Change your position. If you have been sitting, stand or walk around. Do a few simple stretches to get your body moving and prevent the tightening of muscles. Keep body alignment in mind. Generally, your back should remain straight, and your feet should be shoulder-width apart. If your posture is off, it can throw many parts of your body out of alignment.
While the principles are the same, the concerns often vary between industrial and office ergonomics. Avoid repetitive reaching, twisting, and bending. These motions can cause injury over long periods of time. Assembly lines that require you to reach overhead or bend down for parts are examples. If frequent lifting is required, bend at your knees and lift with your legs, keeping your back straight.
If you work in an office, setting up your workstation properly can help with ergonomics. First, you should focus on proper sitting posture. Your feet should be flat on the floor, and your shoulders should be relaxed. Your monitor should be at eye level to avoid looking up or down for long periods, and you should be able to comfortably able to touch the monitor with your fingertip for proper distance. Your keyboard and mouse should be positioned so that your elbows are at 90 degrees or lower to avoid strain.
If you need a chiropractor in the St. Cloud area, contact East Lake Chiropractic and Medical Center by calling (407) 957-9995. We are committed to the overall health of our patients. We can help correct problems caused by poor ergonomics, and help prevent future work injury. We can also teach you proper ergonomics based on your body and form.