Ergonomics is about fitting the task to the person, and fitting the person to the task. When ergonomic principles are applied in a work environment, many workplace injuries are avoided and performance can be improved.
To have "good ergonomics", ergonomic risk factors with the task and the individual must be identified and eliminated or reduced.
A person sitting in front of a computer can have neck strain causing her to get constant headaches. Too much computer usage can also increase one’s risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Excessive and prolong standing can cause a lot of pressure at the joints in your feet and your ankles, causing heel spurs and tendonitis.
Severe cases can even lead to surgeries!
6 risk factors:
- Awkward postures - muscles and joints work best in mid-point position.
- Prolonged positions - sitting for a long time increases pressure exerted on discs in lower back.
- Repetitive movements - overuse. Can cause microtrauma. Wear and tear.
- Excessive force - Carrying objective too heavy or too big. Keep weights close to your body.
- Contact stress - putting too much pressure on a body part. Ex. kneeling on cement flooring can cause a lot of irritation to your knee.
- Environmental conditions such as heat, cold - Muscles fatigue faster in hot conditions. Blood flow constricts in cold conditions. Both reduce muscle performance.
3 Tips to Consider:
- Mid-point positioning - your muscles and joints work best at the middle of range of motion. This is where the most force can be produced (or controlled).
- Resistance distance - close the distance between you and the object for better leverage.
- Improve fitness - Increased in flexibility and strength will go a long way. Invest 20-30 minutes a day on overall fitness program. Yoga, brisk walking, biking will do.
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