We have all heard “comfort is key,” and this saying can be applied to many facets in your life. From your home, to how you dress, comfort plays a large role in how we feel both physically and mentally. It is also important to consider in the workplace. Today, we would like to offer some tips on how to apply ergonomics in the workplace, ensuring you are not only comfortable but also kept safe from harm or injury.
Merriam Webster defines ergonomics as the following: “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.” From your desk to your chair, all aspects of your workplace or office can impact how productive you are throughout the day, and how your body will feel.
In some cases, workplaces overlook ergonomics as a key component to safety. This is usually because injuries caused from poor ergonomics are much less obvious than slips, falls, trips, or accidents involving equipment or chemicals, for example. However, these injuries are equally as important and can lead to serious issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, strained muscles, or ruptured disks. If a work area is not properly designed, people can suffer from loss in productivity, missed hours and income, as well as pain and discomfort.
Let’s discuss a few tips to help avoid these types of injuries in the workplace.
Watch your posture
We spend a significant amount of time sitting at desks, hunched over a computer throughout the day. If you work a job that means you spend most of your time sitting at a desk, you want to ensure you check in with your posture during the day. It is important to remember that what one person considers comfortable, may not be the case for someone else. Therefore, you want to work in a position that is both ergonomically correct and comfortable. You can check out proper posture guidelines here.
Move your body
No matter how proper your posture is, your body requires movement and change. Therefore, throughout your day, make sure you change positions, stretch, and move your body. This could mean taking a few minutes during your break to proactively do some gentle stretching, go for a walk on your lunch break, or adjust your positioning at your desk.
Check your workspace
When you are spending much of your working life at a desk, sitting in a chair, these items should work with you, and not against you. Ideally, your chair should have adjustable height, arm rest, lumbar support, and seat depth settings. In terms of your computer, you should make sure that your keyboard and mouse are at the same level, with the weight of your arms supported by the arms of your chair. Your workplace should accommodate your needs, especially if you have experienced and injury previously or are having pain or discomfort while working.
DF safety offers several courses related to the importance and understanding of ergonomics if you are interested in learning more. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!