Ergonomics is important because when you’re doing a job and your body is stressed by an awkward posture, high force requirement, and/or repetitive motions, the musculoskeletal or “movement” system is affected. Bad ergonomics increases fatigue in your soft tissues and your body may begin to have symptoms such as fatigue, discomfort, and pain, which can be the first signs of a movement system disorder. If you are exposed to ergonomic risk factors over weeks, months and years, fatigue will outrun your body’s recovery system. When fatigue outruns recovery over the course of time, a movement system disorder can develop.
Here are some of our favourite tips to set your work space up correctly;
- Maintain good posture when working at the keyboard. Utilize a chair with back support.
Keep your feet supported on the floor or on a footrest when you work to reduce pressure on your lower back
- Avoid twisting or bending your trunk or neck. Frequently used items should be positioned directly in front of you and angled upward on a copyholder when working.
Keep your shoulders relaxed with your elbows close to your sides.
- Avoid excessive reaching. Your keyboard, pointing device, files and telephone should be within easy reach.
- Take breaks. These breaks can be brief and should include stretches for optimal results. If possible, take a one or two-minute break every 15 to 20 minutes, or a five-minute break every hour. Every few hours, get up, move around, and do an alternative activity
- Sit with your head and neck in an upright position – even while on the phone
- Keep the shoulders relaxed and elbows close to the body
- Alternate between work activities which use different muscle groups to avoid overuse
- Proper exercises are a complement to a complete office ergonomics program. Consult with a health care professional to select appropriate exercises.
For more information regarding your work station set-up, please contact one of our chiropractors for a consultation.
Haven’t booked your next appointment yet? Call us on 02 9651 5559 today.