What is Ergonomics & How Can it Help?
It's a great, although relatively 'unsexy' word. But it affects everyone and it's important to understand how.
Ergonomics, or Human Factors, is the process of redesigning products or spaces to optimise them for human use in a certain environment.
Computers and computer related equipment are often the focus of ergonomic design as a result of the prolonged periods of time people use these equipment in modern life. Ergonomic design can help to prevent unnecessary fatigue, stress and injury.
Top 5 Ergonomic Injuries?
1. Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is the worlds most common work-related disability, affecting employees from a range of working environments, not just offices. It can be caused by prolonged sitting in awkward positions, lifting incorrectly and twisting.
2. Raynaud's Disease
This occurs through a limited blood supply reaching some areas of the body. It is often caused by repetitive movement.
3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Caused by consistent pressure applied to the meridian nerve in the wrist. Can be affected by excessive keyboard and mouse use.
Inflammation in the joints which can occur by repetitive movements or awkward postures.
5. Severe Eyestrain or Fatigue
Too much time staring directly at a screen can cause eyes to become tired and strained which can lead to headaches, lack of sleep and eventually fatigue.
How can Ergonomics help?
Small changes to certain aspects of a working environment can have a HUGE impact on a persons overall well-being. Below we have a list of action points that can greatly improve workspace ergonomic design.
Is your workstation set-up correctly?
Whether working on a laptop or computer the equipment needs to be positioned correctly in order prevent long term injury. Each workstation set up will be unique to the individual. For an idea of where to start see our useful tips on our 'Correct Ergonomic Seating Position?' page.
Are you using the correct equipment?
Setting a workstation up to suit a persons body is one thing but using the correct equipment is another. Are the tools at your disposal ergonomically designed? Can anything be added or removed to ease the working environment? Make sure to check out our useful collection of laptop stands to improve your desk setup.
Sitting Up Straight?
It is frustratingly simple, yet requires a large amount of effort. When sitting behind a desk working on a screen, it is very easy to 'slouch' and lean forward throughout the day. This can often lead to aches and back pains, but these can easily be prevented by sitting with a good posture. Remember to check out our blog post 'How to Sit at a Desk Correctly'.
What Are The Humidity Levels Like?
The humidity of a working environment can greatly impact a person's performance. High humidity can cause perspiration, whilst low humidity can lead to dry throat and sore eyes. Improving the quality of air can see drastic improvements to working output. Check out unique set of humidifiers here.
Is the room too light or too dark? Both can cause excessive strain on the eyes. Try not to rely solely on artificial light. Try to get some natural light into a workspace too.
Square Eyes or Screen Glare?
Prolonged glare from computer or laptop screens can cause eye strains. Glare filtering either through screens or glasses can help to control this issue. Check out our handy collection of new blue light glasses here.
Take Regular Breaks