We’re hearing more and more about ergonomics lately, but what exactly is ergonomics and how does it apply to our daily lives? Although there’s a lot of scientific thought behind the concept, it can be simply described in this way: ergonomics is the concept of workplace design factors that increase productivity by minimizing employee discomfort and fatigue. Basically, ergonomics involves setting up employee desks and workstations so that they are more comfortable and healthy. A healthy and comfortable employee is a more productive employee and therefore, everybody wins.
A complete article about ergonomics would take days to compile, so let’s focus on the basics. One of the most important steps in ergonomics is ensuring proper posture. Developing healthy posture habits is crucially important for those who wish to embrace ergonomics. Here’s a quick overview on posture techniques:
- Sitting- Keep your feet flat on the floor and don’t lean forward. There shouldn’t be a space between your back and the chair. Sit up straight and maintain the natural “S” shape of your spine. It may be beneficial to use a towel in the small of your back to provide support. Keep your weight evenly distributed between both hips and try to avoid resting on one side of your body.
- Standing- Again, remember to keep your spine in the neutral “S” position, with your neck, back and hips aligned. Tuck in your chin while standing, to keep the neck from overexertion. To keep our shoulders from creeping up, take a deep breath while bringing your shoulders up and then consciously relax them.
- Sleeping- You may not be able to sleep on the job, but proper body mechanics are important at home too. If you want to protect your spine, you should always sleep on your spine to reduce pressure and sleep on a pillow that’s just big enough to raise your head up level to the rest of your spine.
Proper posture is very important for good ergonomics, but it’s only a piece of the overall puzzle. If you’d like to learn more about how to prevent yourself from workplace stress, fatigue and overuse injuries like tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and even tennis elbow, your chiropractic team can be an invaluable resource.
Regular visits with your chiropractic team will keep your spine aligned and healthy while allowing you to benefit from the expertise of your doctor of chiropractic. Your chiropractor is extremely knowledgeable about how to attain proper ergonomics in the workplace and can talk to you about how to protect yourself in a variety of ways. If you haven’t been to your chiropractor’s office lately, it may be time to make an appointment for the safe and natural health care that you’ve been missing.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.