It’s hard to imagine that as little as 10 years ago, the ergonomics movement was considered a fad.
Today, there is no denying that it has become an important part of our lives.
Whether you work at your computer for hours or spend time in your kitchen cooking dinner every night, ergonomics can help improve how you feel after performing these tasks.
A few simple adjustments to a chair and desk can make all the difference between discomfort and pain relief.
And while this may seem like something only those who have been diagnosed with back problems should worry about, anyone from office workers to parents who spend most of their day on their feet might also benefit from taking small steps towards better posture and health!
To help you better understand ergonomics, this article will define the term and give you examples of ergonomics in the workplace and at home.
What is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics plays a big part in how we view the workplace and home safety. The workplace training guides and rules you might follow at a job incorporate the use of ergonomics. Having a safe work environment is one of the most important aspects of any job.
Ergonomics is the study of human behavior and interactions in a work environment. An ergonomist will use their studies to create a work environment. The goal is to create a safe and healthy environment for the average employee.
To evaluate a job, an ergonomist must look at what is known as ergonomic stressors. These stressors include how much force a person needs to complete a task, the postures and body positions of workers, and how repetitive a task is.
Ergonomic stressors play a large part in figuring out how to make a task more comfortable and safe for those who are completing it.
It is important to remember that the use of ergonomics is not limited to the workplace. Any place that requires a series of tasks to maintain the environment can involve ergonomics. Your home is another good example of where ergonomics are likely to come into play.
Examples of Ergonomics in Workplace
Ergonomics is often an invisible practice to the average worker. As a result, the concept of ergonomics can be a tricky one to understand if you don’t have a good example.
Below will discuss some common workplace examples. Reading the examples can help you better understand where ergonomics influences your workplace.
Office jobs are not as labor-intensive as some other jobs. However, they can still pose safety and efficiency risks over time.
Sitting in an uncomfortable chair at a computer for hours can take a toll on the human body.
To reduce the physical issues that may come up, there are steps that you can take.
Your posture is a critical aspect in reducing back pain.
Throughout the workday, office workers should focus on keeping a good posture. If you are in the habit of slouching, you may want to consider investing in an ergonomic chair.
These chairs help improve posture and provide lumbar support.
Keyboard and Mouse
Carpal tunnel syndrome is no joke. The injury frequently affects those who use a mouse and keyboard improperly for too long. Even those who practice good typing etiquette are at risk.
To lessen the chances of developing carpal tunnel, you can get an ergonomic mouse and keyboard.
An ergonomic keyboard and mouse allow you to rest your hands in more comfortable positions.
Sitting in one spot all day can lead to boredom and less productivity.
Many find that working 52 minutes and taking a break for 17 helps productivity. Allowing yourself to get up and walk around can help prevent burnout.
It is important to keep the mind healthy, as well as the body. By stretching your body and giving your mind a break, you can keep your productivity flowing.
With a job that involves consistent heavy lifting, there are many safety risks.
The safety risks can increase if workers do not have the proper techniques and equipment.
Even if you are capable of lifting heavy objects, you are still at risk of injuring yourself.
The way that you pick up an object can affect different areas of the body. You can easily throw your back out if you are lifting incorrectly.
The correct way to lift a heavy object is to have a wide stance and squat down with your knees and hips. Maintain a straight posture, then lift the object slowly. Keep the object close to your body and use your hips to lead the way.
Take care not to make any sudden twists with your back.
In factory jobs(or any labor-intensive jobs)workers run the risk of succumbing to fatigue.
A proper work environment should always provide suitable work conditions. There are also steps that individual workers can take to prevent fatigue.
Avoid working through any breaks that you receive. You may win brownie points with your boss, but skipping breaks can overwork your body.
Drink water frequently throughout the day to avoid overheating. Eat three solid meals in a day, and eat healthy snacks in between. If you are overheating or feeling unwell, notify your boss or manager right away.
Some jobs require workers to interact with harsh chemicals or heavy machinery. Ergonomics is especially important in these kinds of jobs. Not having the right equipment and training process can bring dangerous incidents.
Those who work with chemicals will have to wear protective gear.
Regular clothing or uniforms won’t protect workers from a chemical substance. Protective gear can typically include gloves, masks, and even a full-body suit.
For a work environment to be safe, it needs to be able to provide the correct gear. Failure to do so can result in legal action, either by an employee or by the state.
Examples of Ergonomics in the Home
While many of us don’t like to associate work with home, there are similarities. Maintaining a home means having to do chores regularly. Even activities that may not seem like chores can involve ergonomics.
There are a lot of day-to-day tasks that you complete in your life that incorporate ergonomics. Being able to spot them in your home life can help you understand the concept.
A lot of people don’t the time to think about how they clean. But the way that we clean can help improve our efficiency and overall safety.
Cleaning with chemical products, for example, can be dangerous if done incorrectly.
Those who use chemical products should wear cleaning gloves. They should also never mix bleach with other products. Mixing bleach with almost any cleaning product can create a dangerous gas.
These gases can be very harmful to the body if you breathe them in.
Cleaning products can produce a strong smell. These smells can cause minor issues to those who are around them, such as nausea. Opening your windows while you are cleaning can help eliminate strong smells.
Although gardening is largely peaceful, the activity can strain the body. Taking frequent breaks from kneeling or bending over can help prevent soreness.
Gardeners will also want to invest in the right equipment. Gardening can turn from peaceful to exhausting if you don’t have the right tools.
If you or someone else in the household is a handyman, there might be a lot of lifting at home. The correct way to lift an object at work also applies at home.
Those using equipment such as ladders and power tools should always read the manual. Even at home, dangerous and sometimes fatal accidents can occur.
Even the average school day can include ergonomics.
The way that you carry your backpack and supplies can affect your body. How often you eat and take breaks can influence your productivity.
Wearing your backpack correctly (utilizing both straps) can prevent back pain. Eating snacks and taking study breaks can help improve your productivity.
Hunger and exhaustion can be distracting, which can prevent you from completing tasks.
Cooking is an activity that heavily involves the use of ergonomics. There are many methods and techniques that take place during cooking. Even the average home cook uses several techniques during the cooking process.
Having the right equipment is the best way to cook an efficient and successful meal. By using high-quality equipment, your food will cook evenly and to a safe temperature.
Creating certain dishes, such as homemade pasta, also requires specific tools.
Some injuries can occur in the kitchen. Wearing oven mitts can prevent burns from hot pans. Improper knife technique can cause you to cut your finger.
By learning how to cut food correctly, you can avoid accidents in the kitchen.
Another great way to avoid accidents is to frequently check your stove and oven. A malfunctioning stove can cause fires. Gas stoves and ovens can also pose severe safety risks if there are gas leaks.
By checking your equipment frequently, you can catch these issues before they become a problem.
Overall, there are many ways that ergonomics plays a part in our lives. The study of how humans work in certain conditions can help ergonomists determine the best tools and practices to achieve a productive and safe working environment.
Similarly, observing the way that we complete everyday tasks can help us have a more efficient home life. Using the right methods for cleaning, cooking, and going to school can improve your quality of life.
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