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Ergonomic practices for work and home

Last Modified: April 25, 2024

Safety & Prevention

machine lifting spool of wire

This post was written by Brett Einbecker, wellness coach, Parkview Employer Solutions.

The term “ergonomic design” is frequently used to describe office equipment such as a desk chair, mouse or keyboard, emphasizing features that promote comfort and efficiency for its users, but these principles extend into various industries and everyday products. Ergonomics is the science of creating a comfortable and safe work environment that enhances co-worker well-being and productivity. Here we discuss the role of ergonomics in the workplace and how similar practices can be applied at home to minimize your risk of physical injury.

Ergonomics at work

Poorly designed workspaces can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), fatigue and other physical ailments. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), work-related MSDs such as carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries and low back injuries were among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time. A health-conscious work environment reduces physical strain, provides proper equipment and encourages good posture. Organizations can protect their co-workers’ well-being by equipping, training and supporting a safe work environment. This can look like:

  • Height-adjustable workstations
  • Ensuring tools and equipment are within arm’s reach
  • Practicing ergonomic lifting techniques

A well-designed workspace that provides comfort and safety improves mood and energy levels. Productivity is also influenced by ergonomics. An ergonomically designed workstation reduces discomfort, minimizes distractions and allows you to concentrate on your responsibilities.

Ergonomics at home

With warmer weather on the horizon, many people are gearing up for outdoor enjoyment. Before leaping back into engaging in physical activity, attending to the yard or managing outdoor projects, it’s important to take a moment to plan and prioritize tasks to avoid injury.

When beginning weight-bearing activities like running, golfing or biking, stretch properly beforehand to minimize the risk of sprains or strains. Gradually reintroduce these activities, managing the frequency and intensity to avoid harm from a rapid return.

For others, spring means decluttering, yard work and gardening. It’s crucial to remain mindful of transitioning from winter’s lower activity levels to increased physical exertion. Work up to more demanding tasks and use appropriate tools to avoid unnatural positions to prevent neck and back pain. By utilizing these precautions, one can fully embrace outdoor activities while minimizing the risk of harm.

Employee resources to support a healthy workforce

Parkview Employer Solutions partners with area businesses, delivering innovative services to improve employees' health and well-being, including Proactive Injury Care, Occupational Health, Employee Assistance Programs, Workplace Wellness, Employer Clinics Diabetes Care Direct and more. Contact for additional information.

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