The study of the human body as it interacts with systems, tools, and tasks is called ergonomics. The name dates back to the 1950s, but about 30 years later, it became a business buzzword.
The biomechanics of your body operate best under certain conditions, and changing the furniture and equipment you use to do your job can help you sidestep injury from accidents and repetitive motions that strain elements of your musculoskeletal and other body systems.
At Herald Square Chiropractic and Sport, we’re a comprehensive practice concerned with maintaining overall wellness regarding your body's functions. You spend as much time working as you do sleeping, and your job has much more impact on your body, so ergonomics is a crucial part of health maintenance.
Avoiding injury is a better solution than treatment after the fact. Let’s look at how ergonomics can make your workplace safer.
The importance of ergonomic safety
As office chairs and workstations underwent an ergonomic redesign, comfort seemed a large part of workplace ergonomics. But comfort wasn’t the driving factor. The best way to approach work is to place less stress on your body in ways that are often more comfortable.
This newfound comfort often prevents injuries from repetitive strain, reducing time lost to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a common condition often experienced by people who use a computer keyboard and mouse throughout their workday. CTS is just one injury that workplace ergonomics can help you avoid.
Identifying ergonomic safety hazards involves recognizing several risk factors. These include:
Long periods spent in a single position present postural challenges since your body is made to move. Musculoskeletal disorders can quickly develop due to stationary workstations, regardless if you’re sitting or standing. Ergonomic changes that encourage naturally balanced postures reduce the toll single positions take on the body.
Performing the same movements in the same way throughout your workday is a leading cause of musculoskeletal strain. In particular, soft tissues, like ligaments and tendons, become irritated and swollen, causing pain and restricting movement. Over time, this wear-and-tear can cause chronic injuries.
When a job includes frequent lifting or exertion of force, it’s an invitation for injuries. It’s essential to ensure that jobs are within your physical capability. That is more than simply being able to exert a certain level of force or being able to lift a specific weight but also repeating those motions throughout the workday.
Condition and design of tools
Work tools range from hand tools to heavy machines. But they also include computers and office equipment. Tools should be designed for safe use with minimal strain on your body.
At Herald Square Chiropractic and Sport, treating musculoskeletal injuries due to ergonomic workplace issues is one of our primary concerns. Schedule a consultation by phone or online to develop a recovery plan for your musculoskeletal ergonomic injuries. We’re here to help, so book your visit today.