Ergonomic Articles

Ergonomics: What is it and why it is so important

By Angela Hendricks | Added 2015-06-11

Sitting is fast becoming one of the biggest health risks we face today. Considering so much of our time is spent at work sitting at our desks, in front of a computer, neck and back discomfort is on the rise. But there is hope, in the form of ergonomic awareness. Ergonomics is the essential study of the ways to better fit into your work environment, how your workstation affects your body and how you can make small changes to rectify it.

Businesses, industries and offices are going more and more digital which means trips to the copier or conversations around the cooler with colleagues - situations that forced us out of our chair and moving at work - are no longer needed. Instead, we send IMs and emails and work at our desks with a lot of pressure to get the job done. The problem with this, is that our bodies are not designed to be sitting for such long stretches and when seated, many of us find ourselves struggling to stay comfortable for the entire work day.

Here’s why...your back consists of a vertebral column, which has 24 vertebrae. Each of these vertebrae are separated by a small, but important disc and collectively form the three curved areas of your back: The neck (known as the cervical curve), the middle back (or thoracic curve) and lower back (called the lumbar curve). These curves or areas, work together best when they are in the ideal posture which is named “Neutral Spin”. Slouching and incorrect postures caused by poor workstation setup puts pressure and strain on the discs and joints.

These painful injuries and strains caused by sitting with bad posture for an extended time put a huge toll on the body. To counteract this growing concern, ergonomics teaches us how these things affect the body and how to reposition yourself so that you can work relaxed and more comfortably. Ultimately increasing efficiency, productivity and good health.

The biggest change you can make, to drastically improve your working posture, is look at and adjust your workstation set-up and the equipment you use.  Setting up your desk, chair, computer and other workstation necessities correctly and making small layout changes can have big beneficial results when adapted to your own unique needs.

In our upcoming articles, we will help you to find ways to eliminate your discomfort by showing you how this discomfort is caused and teaching you how to make small changes to rectify and treat it. So sit back and relax and look at how your body is reacting. Become aware of your workstation and how your  body feels in it. As you become aware of ergonomics, you will learn to understand its importance and begin to improve your back and neck health.

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