Ergonomic risk factors don’t just have an effect on your back pain and the way you sit, they can have an effect on your overall health and cause long-term issues when not addressed. The most common risk factors are often the most overlooked. Start working with your employees and coworkers today to help everyone feel better, not only at work but in their every-day life by recognizing and correcting these ergonomic risk factors.
This risk factor is exactly what it sounds like; posture held for a long period of time. It is extremely likely that prolonged posture is the wrong posture. It is common with office workers to adopt poor posture as their prolonged posture, which results in poor posture in the long term. This is indicated by hunched shoulders and backs, as well as back, neck and hip pain, as well as headaches.
Solutions for Prolonged Posture
Get up and move! Make sure you take frequent breaks when sitting at your desk. Stretch. Stay self-aware and pay attention to your posture. Ensure you are maintaining the correct sitting position and hand position while on your computer.
Once again, this term is pretty self-explanatory. When you adopt an awkward posture it can be very difficult to break yourself of the habit and can take a long time to retrain your brain. Awkward posture can be anything from leaning to one side, adopting a head tilt, sitting with a hunched back, legs crossed or leaning on an elbow.
Solutions for Awkward Posture
Be hyper-aware of how you’re sitting and correct as often as possible when an awkward position starts coming on in order to make your new, better posture your go-to.
This is one of the worst culprits of injury in a sedentary job. Doing the same thing over and over again, with the same motions can cause strain on joints, damage to nerves and pain.
Solutions for Repetitive Activity Injury
Updating equipment with an ergonomic keyboard and mouse can help ease the strain. Additionally, once the problem areas are identified, a brace or other device to assist in easing pain and allowing for less stain can help.
This may be a term you are less familiar with. Contact stress is described mechanically as “…the localized stresses that develop as two curved surfaces come in contact and deform slightly under the imposed loads stress caused on a part of the body.” Which is similar to how it affects your body in that when your body is pressed up against one part of your workstation, like the edge of your desk, repeatedly it causes strain and stress that can take a toll on nerves and blood vessels.
Solutions for Contact Stress
Make sure that your workstation is as comfortable as possible with a wrist pad and give your wrists, legs and back a break. Move around during the day to keep blood flow at it’s best. Give the pressure points a break.
Really, what it comes down to is paying attention to how your body is feeling and positioned throughout the day. Maybe enlist a coworker to help you ensure you don’t slip into old habits. Many times others are more aware of our poor posture than we are. Correct furniture and other equipment use and placement is also paramount to ergonomic success. If you would like to schedule an ergonomic evaluation for your company or have a question for us, please feel free to contact Healthworks Ergonomics here.