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Ergonomics Overview - What Is It About

Aug 18, 2007
When you excessively repeat a physical movement such as typing, you can stress the musculoskeletal system of your hands, wrists, elbow, shoulder, neck and back to the point of minor or even major injury.

The best way to avoid this type of injury is to better fit your body to the workplace, by redesigning your workspace into a more ergonomic, or comfortable design. Sometimes this is done by redesigning the tasks you do on an everyday basis to eliminate overuse of the same muscles. Giving yourself a break from repetitive tasks, or enlisting the help of others (or specialized office tools) can help save you from muscle strain and pain.

Or, you may need to consider completely redesigning your workstation to better fit your personal capabilities and limitations. If, for instance, you are of smaller stature than the average person, it may b necessary to lower wall mounted computer monitors to avoid consistently stretching you neck and shoulders. Or, if you are on the taller side, you may need to raise desk-mounted monitors to avoid slouching.

Lighting too can be a big issue. Eyestrain can cause headaches, fatigue and irritability, which can all affect productivity.

Poor posture can also be a cause for concern, so using the right height and type of chair can be a wonderful aid to maintaining good posture and avoiding uncomfortable backaches or worse.

But, there's more to ergonomics than just the physical conditions of the workplace. Sure, if you feel cold easily, you'll work better in a warmer temperature - after all who can be productive when they're shivering all day? But ergonomics also takes into consideration the psychology of the worker and their ability to think reason and solve problems.

By analyzing your individual job requirements against your personal strong points and not so strong areas, you can determine a better ergonomic way to complete the task at hand by redesigning them to incorporate your human needs (rest time; meals; bathroom breaks), with your strengths (ability to reason effectively) to crate a better working relationship with yourself and those around you.

In this way ergonomics can help ensure that you, as a human worker, can better work with the technological aspects of your job in better harmony with all of your equipment and tasks aligned for better productivity.

While these concepts may seem a bit strange to some, many have found that by physically making their work environment more comfortable, as well as helping to create a more aligned psychological work environment helps them feel better about themselves and their job an makes them much more productive on the job and beyond.
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