Ergonomics: why ergonomics is important? What is the correct posture for sitting/ standing? What are long-term effects of the wrong ergonomics?
The term Ergonomics hailed from the Greek words ergon (work) and nomos (laws) which means "Science of Work." It is a system-oriented discipline that extends across all aspects of human activity.
Ergonomics promotes a holistic approach which takes into account considerations of physical, cognitive, social, organizational, and environmental factors. In Ergonomics knowledge of a human's capacity and limitations are applied in designing the workplaces, tasks, workstations and the work environment as a whole. It is the science where we adopt the way to use our body in establishing the use of technology and equipment to make the workplace user-friendly.
The primary goal of ergonomics in the workplace is to reduce the risk of a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) by reducing or eliminating worker exposure to hazards which promote a WMSD. Other ergonomic goals include:
- Increase worker productivity and performance
- Decrease worker discomfort
- Improve the comprehensive quality of the work environment
- Value of Ergonomics Today
Many people undergo agony because their needs, abilities, and limitations do not match the conditions at work and home. This impacts on their safety and welfare, as well as, that of the organizations and society as a whole. Cutting-edge technology can make our lives more efficient and exciting. However, fascination with technology and over-ambitious business expectations may result in ignoring human factors risks. Neglecting these risks can have severe effects on manufacturers, suppliers and service enterprises. Therefore, ergonomics and human factors are gaining more importance in the postmodern era than in the nineteenth century.
A piece of advice from ergonomic and physiology experts is: Choose your furniture and arrange them in such a way that the things you would use regularly must be kept at the nearest point. If you are a person used watching television for very long hours, a supportive recliner that takes pressure off your back. A firm couch that allows you to extend your body in a reclining position is the right choice provided the television is placed in a position where you don't have to crane your neck up or stoop down to see it.
An Ardent reader shall choose an upright chair that supports the lower back, as well as some surface - even just a large pillow - on which to rest the books. Otherwise, there is a stress on the arms and strain on the neck and shoulders due to continuous bending down. Weavers or Knitters, on the other hand, might want a firm chair with armrests to support the elbow, so they don't have to slouch or shrug their shoulders while weaving.
Twisting and craning are typical of people using mobile devices, laptops. Folks twist their spine when working on a computer while sitting on a couch. Similarly, they bend their neck in an unfavorable position for texting on a mobile phone which causes tremendous tension and strain.Furniture is like any gadget: It is a boon when used correctly - and when you don't overuse it.
The Expanding Importance of Ergonomics Today
Technology has encompassed all aspects of our lives today. Folks spend hours together in front of their laptop or desktop at work and front of the television at home. The rest of the hours are spent stooping over our smartphones, IPads, and iPods. Present day kids spend a considerable part of their evenings with their video games.
What are the health implications of this?
There is entirely no doubt that these gadgets have eased and sprinkled enough comfort in our lives.But the impact of convenience on our bodies is appalling. Neck and Back pain combined with shoulder, wrist aches, eye strain is freebies of using technology.Obesity amongst kids is increasingly because of the lack of movement. They either sit and study at their laptops or are looking down at their video games, therefore resulting in lousy posture development. Why?The reason is the absence of ergonomics. Very less knowledge of ergonomics or its correct application. Start your Ergonomics Education Today! If you start applying the principles of ergonomics at office and home, then you can minimize or eradicate most of the health problems.
People often think the success of ergonomics is in spending heavily on "ergonomic" products. The truth is that even if you invest in ergonomic products and do not use them correctly, then the result will be negative.
Why is Ergonomics Important?
Applying ergonomics to the workplace contributes to high productivity, avoidance of illness and computer injuries. It also increases satisfaction among the workforce, not to mention that EVERYONE saves money by preventing them (rather than trying to cure them).
Although the application of ergonomics is typical in the office, where one prefers the right work posture and user-friendly equipment such as desks, chairs, desktop monitors, etc., ergonomics application is more evident for industrial workers than office workers. Examples of ergonomic risk factors are prevalent in jobs requiring the repetitive, forceful, or prolonged exertion of the hands or heavy lifting including protracted repetitive activity and awkward postures.
The five main principles of ergonomics are
- Ease of use
- Productivity and performance
There are three principles of ergonomics:
- Physical Ergonomics
- Cognitive Ergonomics
- Organizational or Office Ergonomics
It is the study of the way the body interacts with the worker's tools, such as chairs, shovels, computers, etc.The effects of these interactions are studied further in forms of posture, musculoskeletal disorders, repetitive disorders, workplace layout, etc.
Cognitive Ergonomics relates to the way the mind processes information. It is a study of how humans interact with data. Some examples of Cognitive ergonomics includes placement of signs, visibility, and recognition, retention of data.
Organizational or Office Ergonomics
Office Ergonomics is the principle concerning optimizing everything in a workplace.In other words, applying ergonomics in the workplace. Right from teamwork to telework assessing to quality management.
- What is the correct posture for sitting/ standing?
- What is good posture?
Posture means holding your body vertical against gravity, be it while standing or sitting. Posture also applies while lying down. A good posture involves consciously placing your body in such a position while walking, standing, sitting or lying down where the ligaments and supporting muscles come under least strain.
In a Good Posture:
Joints and bones are in the right alignment. Thus there is no strain on the muscles.
There are least wear and tear of the joint surface which otherwise leads to arthritis.
The stress on ligaments holding the joints and spine together is also minimum.
There is the least chance of spine becoming rigid.
There is an efficient use of muscles, thus reducing fatigue as the body uses less energy than in a bad posture.
Muscular pain and backache are prevented.
Good appearance is assured.
Correct sitting position
o Sit straight and your shoulders at the back. Your bottom should touch the back of your chair.
o All three standard back curves should be present while sitting. A small, rolled-up towel or a lumbar roll can be used to help you maintain the typical curves in your back.
o Sit at the tip of your chair and crouch fully.
o Draw yourself up and accentuate the curve of your back as far as possible. Hold for a few seconds.
o Release the position slightly (about 10 degrees).
o Disburse your body weight evenly on both hips.
o Bend your knees at 90 degrees. Keep your knees even with or slightly higher than your hips. (use a footrest or stool if necessary). Without crossing your legs.
o Keep your feet flat on the floor.
o Change your position often, do not sit in the same position for more than 30 minutes.
o At the workplace, you have to adjust your chair height in such a manner that you can look straight into the computer screen without crouching down or gazing up. With your shoulder relaxed, your elbows must rest on the arms of your chair.
o Avoid twisting your waist while sitting on a chair. Instead, turn your whole body.
o While changing position from sitting to standing, move slowly to the front of the chair without bending forward, straighten your legs before standing.
Below are the ways for a good sitting position when you're not using back support:
o Putting weight should be even on both hips.
o Bend knees at 90-degree angle, by placing them slightly above hips - you may use a footrest or stool for this purpose without crossing your leg.
o Keep your feet flat on the floor.
o Avoid being in the same position for more than 30 minutes.