Monday, August 14, 2006

Not just at the office - Ergonomics also apply to home ... and life

Ergonomics applied to household tasks ...

"When it comes to ergonomics, health officials say it's the seemingly innocuous activities - writing, chopping food, washing dishes and watching TV - that have the potential to create health nightmares.

"People are more concerned with completing the task, so (for) everyday things like writing, driving or writing a news story, even, people are not thinking about their posture and body position," said David Brandenburg, an ergonomist for the University of California, Los Angeles. "They are so engaged on getting somewhere or taking notes that they are putting their bodies in awkward positions."

Over time, that awkward body positioning can lead to serious muscular-skeletal injuries that require physical therapy or surgery, said Jeanni Moyer, program manager for occupational rehabilitation at Health@Work, a division of Washington County Hospital.

Key examples of less-considered repetitive tasks include:

- Driving with the steering wheel too high, or gripping the wheel tightly in reaction to the external stresses of driving (think traffic jams), can cause aches and pains over time, Brandenburg said.

- Reading in poor light usually means the reader will have to lurch or hunch over in order to better see the text, which over time will lead to discomfort, said occupational therapist assistant Kathy Mooney with Health@Work."   (Continued via The Herald-Mail)   [Ergonomics_Resources]

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