Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Eight Ergonomics Essentials

A good list of basic office ergonomics advice ...

"It's been a wonderful 18 months sharing information about ergonomics with you in the Gilroy Dispatch, the Hollister Free Lance and more recently the Morgan Hill Times. It is my sincere hope that you now have at your disposal a host of useful ideas that you use regularly to keep yourself comfortable, safe and efficient in the home as well as the office. As I will be taking a breather from the figurative pen, I'd like to leave you with these bits of essential ergonomics advice:

1. Move frequently. I don't know which ergonomics sage said it first, but he or she put it well after being asked what the best working position was. The answer: "The best position is the next position." Movement is essential for good circulation and breathing, as well as nerve, joint and muscle function. I advise you to change tasks or positions, or use a mini stretch-and-breathe break every 20-30 minutes. You can even shift positions or stretch now as you read. Frequent movement can invigorate you and keep you from feeling sluggish as you go through your day.

2. Rest frequently. Rest, paradoxically, is closely related to movement from an ergonomics perspective. At times movement allows for rest. You must move in order to rest muscles that have been holding you in a sustained posture. For example, after a time of pulling weeds or sitting at a computer in a bent position, you must get up and straighten your back to give it a break from the sustained posture. Of course, there are also times when you must rest by not moving. Muscles and joints that have been moving too much, too forcefully or for too long need time to relax. Doing a completely different task or taking a restful break can help to accomplish this. Getting enough sleep is also essential to sustain the body and mind.

3. Use proper postures. It is important to try to work with your spine in good alignment and maintain its normal curves. Additionally, keep the shoulders relaxed and the wrists in neutral positions whenever possible, and protect the hips and knees from prolonged and repetitive bending. Learn to lift and move properly so that your stance is stable and your power comes from the strong leg muscles rather than the vulnerable spinal muscles."   continued ...   (Via Hollister Free Lance)

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