Ergonomics and Workplace Safety - Get Educated!
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Ergonomics and Workplace Safety - Get Educated!

Ergonomics and Workplace Safety - Get Educated!

Most office workers today spend considerable amounts of time in front of a computer. This new type of lifestyle makes it increasingly important to practice good ergonomic habits. Without this, we can become susceptible to vision strain, muscular problems in our hands, arms, and legs, or develop back pains or headaches. Read on to find out how we can all protect our bodies and stay healthy while at work.

Overview of Ergonomics

Ergonomics focuses on adapting work conditions to the worker, as opposed to the other way around. It includes factors that contribute to physical stress, strain, and injury. This can range from repetitive motions over a long period of time, to environmental causes such as air quality. However, in most cases, workers only need to make minor adjustments to improve the quality of their working conditions and daily habits.

The Body

At work, we may often face issues such as neck strain, poor circulation, and tense positions. Staying in one position for a long time can worsen these issues. It is important to pay attention to spinal alignment. It should be straight to eliminate other problems. Spinal and back problems are usually influenced by the height and design of the work desk, the chair, and the height of the computer. Workers should not have to stretch to reach the keyboard.

Posture

Most of us tend to slouch in our chairs as we work. There are several other bad habits that we might engage in, such as keeping our legs crossed for a long time. Ideally, the feet should be flat on the floor and the back should be straight, not hunched over. While it is good to maintain a good posture, even that can become tiring after a while. For this reason, workers should take small frequent breaks. If you feel the need to change the posture, take a break for a few minutes. Walk around or stretch, and then head back to your desk. Another option is to schedule a small exercise break with co-workers at lunchtime. It could be as simple as a walk around the block, or a quick run. The extra workout will rejuvenate and refresh you, helping to avoid the afternoon slump and improving posture and energy levels for the second half of the day.

Visual

We warn kids not to watch television for too long, but adults are usually glued to computer screens for several hours each day. In some cases, it can cause red, dry, itchy, or tired eyes, while in others, it can lead to weakening vision. A common side effect also includes headaches or migraines. An easy way to prevent this is simply to take a five minute break away from the screen every hour or so. Monitor the lighting in the office too, so that any glare on the screen is eliminated. If the screen is too bright, adjust the monitor's settings to a comfortable level.

Other Resources

Another key aspect of work-related injuries is with the hands, wrists and forearms. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is most often caused by typing or using a mouse for lengthy periods each day. The symptoms include tingling, varying degrees of pain, weakness, and numbness in the wrists. Look into using an ergonomic keyboard or a cushioned wrist support to help prevent this type of injury. It is also worth bringing up these types of issues to the boss or human resources department of an office. They can help to further implement better ergonomic standards among all workers and prevent unnecessary physical injuries.