Derived from the Greek ergon (work) and nomos (laws)…ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment.
What does that mean in regards to you, other workers and the workplace? Well, whether at home, at work or in life generally, it’s important to recognise factors such as:
- Stress on the body or mind, and
- Support in various areas such as sitting, standing or when moving.
By studying people’s productivity in the work place, you can start adapting the job to fit the worker. Example: If you were to sit most of the day without moving or any breaks, this would put a tremendous amount of stress on the body and subsequently you would subconsciously start looking at ways to alleviate some pressure. E.g.. Moving forward on the seat of your chair, leaning on your desk, crossing your legs, and so on.
Ergonomics focuses on the work environment and items such as the design and function of workstations, chairs, controls, display heights, safety devices, tools and lighting to fit the employee’s physical requirements, capabilities and limitations to ensure optimum health and well-being.
It is important to listen to your body. If you suffer pain in the wrists, hands, shoulders or neck after a long day of repetitive activity, examine your work area and work practices to see if they may be causing the problems. Learn to make adjustments. Raise or lower chairs to avoid typing with your wrists at an odd angle. Adjust computer monitors to avoid glare. Adjust monitor heights. If the monitor is too low this will add pressure through the neck. Always use proper lifting techniques. Small modifications to work procedures, posture, habits, and/or work station design can make a big difference in the way you feel at the end of a day.
The first thing you may consider changing is the positioning of your chair, In particular the angle. Now think about it… you’re sitting up straight, tilting forward etc… Gravity is pushing down on you and over time your fatigue causes you to find relief elsewhere. You’ll seek to find relief by moving from one terrible position to another.
What we suggest is reclining ever so slightly. This can be done by unlocking the backrest and relining slightly, or what we think is best, unlocking the Syncro mechanism of the chair (where the seat and the backrest move in sync) therefore keeping your body in the correct position all the way through the adjustment. The first option where you only have the back adjustment may put a slight gap in your lumbar area and you may eventually find yourself sliding down the seat.
Good ergonomics is also about a range of working factors:
- Good posture – A good ergonomic chair will help this but people should consider standing up to change posture. We would also encourage regular breaks. Most of us know this, but choose to ignore it.
- Regular movement – We are not designed to sit still for long periods. An ergonomic chair’s free floating mechanism helps keep you moving.
- Adjustable standing desks – By using an adjustable desk or desk top you can now break up your time sitting. Now you are able to stand for short periods, followed by sitting for short periods. This can now take you from an unnatural sitting position into a more natural standing position. But please make sure you do not sit for too long or stand for too long. It is always suggest sit for 30 minutes then stand for 30 minutes.
Bad Backs can assist with the right equipment and ergonomic solutions to help move you into a pain free future – Contact Bad Backs Corporate Seating for more information.