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Ergonomics

Ergonomics

Ergonomics refers to the relationship of the body to its environment. Essentially it is the study of methods used for the preservation of health and efficiency at work and activities of daily living. People who work in ergonomically designed environments and have correct posture

  • tire less quickly
  • are less stressed by poor environmental conditions
  • are less likely to get injuries
  • feel better
  • work more effectively

Poor posture may lead to

  • back pain
  • neck pain
  • headache
  • arm pain
  • repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • eye strain

A trained practitioner will be able to analyse through history taking, muscle testing and postural assessment what imbalances might be responsible for faulty posture through poor ergonomics. They will then give advice which will assist in breaking the pain cycle

General risk factors for work injury

The following factors may contribute to work place injury

  • imbalanced, underdeveloped or weak muscle system
  • poor design of equipment and furniture
  • repetitive tasks without enough variation
  • environmental factors e.g. light, noise, temperature and air quality
  • insufficient rest breaks
  • diet

Several postural factors are important in diminishing the impact on the cervical spine ( the neck ) from prolonged sitting. These include

  • seated with the thoraco – lumbar spine slightly inclined backwards at an angle of 10-15 degrees
  • avoid unnecessary neck flexion
  • bend elbows at 90 degrees or less with the shoulders hanging comfortably
  • knees slightly below hips
  • feet flat on the floor or on a rest
  • elbow at the side of the trunk and not reaching
  • the top line of the screen should be just below eye level approx 10 – 15 degrees from horizontal
  • screen placed 45-70cm away from the eyes
  • documents should be at the same height as the screen
  • adjust screen position to avoid glare
  • avoid forward head posture
  • limit work to no greater than 1 hour per session
  • ergonomic chair that allows for height of chair, back and base position to be adjustable
  • no more than 30 degrees of forward flexion of the neck
  • rotation of the head should be avoided at all time