Ergonomics & Preventing Pain at Work

Ergonomics involves the study of the relationship between workers and their environment - such as their office and equipment they use every day. Ergonomics has been around for awhile, and this field was initially concerned with the safety and efficiency of factory workers. Now, this field of study has expanded beyond the factory into schools, offices, homes, and more! 

There are two main branches of ergonomics - industrial ergonomics and human factors. The human factors side deals with mental stress and mental decision making processes, while the industrial side deals with physical work (posture, load/weight, and movements). We’ll take a closer look at the industrial side of ergonomics and how it is used to prevent workplace injuries and reduce pain.


3 Ways to Prevent Workplace Injury and Pain

Ergonomics may help prevent musculoskeletal injuries at work. Examples of such injuries include lower back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Office ergonomics places a special focus on making the workplace conducive to a pain-free place. This is done through setting up employee workstations properly. Here are a few tips for creating a workstation that helps prevent injury and pain.

Maintain Proper Posture 

When you work for 8 or more hours at a time at a desk, it is important to keep your body and spine in a neutral position. You want to minimize having to look up, down, or sideways for long periods of time. These positions put stress and strain on your upper back and neck. It is also important to avoid crossing your legs. Rather, you should keep booth of your feet planted on the ground when sitting. This helps keep your spine straight and prevent back pain and injuries.


Take Breaks and Move

Taking breaks to stand up and move around helps reduce tension in your muscles. Every hour, try taking at least a 5 minute break to walk around and stretch - even if it’s a quick trip to the bathroom. Also, consider taking 15 second breaks every so often in between your tasks. During these short periods, stand up and stretch.


Get the Right Equipment

Having the right equipment is crucial to preventing injury and pain at work. If you can choose your chair at work, pick out a chair that provides lumbar support. If you cannot pick your own chair, consider purchasing a portable lumbar support that can slip onto your chair at work.

Not only is it important to have the right equipment, it is also important to correctly position the equipment. Computer screens, for example, should be positioned at your eye level. This will keep you from looking down or up and will help keep your neck straight. You can even avoid some back pain with simply positioning your computer screen in the right location.

It is also important to position your keyboard properly. Keyboards should be placed so that your elbows are bent at 90 degrees and close to your body. Additionally, there are many different styles of keyboards. Find one that is comfortable for you and doesn’t hurt your wrists.

Not only do these tips help prevent pain, these simple ergonomic practices may even help reduce pain. If you are already in pain, try out some of these discussed tips. If your pain has been chronic, consider seeking out a pain management doctor. A pain management doctor can help diagnose and treat your pain. Apex Medical Center focuses on providing state-of-the-art pain management services and physicians to the Las Vegas and Henderson area.

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