Ergonomics is the study of how well people fit in their jobs. The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture and repeated tasks.
What Causes Workplace Injuries?
Many workplace injuries are repetitive-stress injuries or cumulative-trauma disorders. These injuries occur when abnormal stresses are repeatedly placed on normal joints by poor posture or poor joint position during the performance of a task. Many of these stresses are caused by poor workstation design and/or repetitive task performance. In addition, poor posture at the workstation can be detrimental.
Poor Ergonomics and Common Workplace Injuries
Unhealthy ergonomics can results in a wide range of workplace injuries.
- Strains and sprains: These injuries are more common in neck, shoulder, and back muscles, and in other connective tissue elements. Back or cervical strain accounts for more than 43% of the 1.3 million illnesses and injuries in the private industry. Such injuries are caused by sudden or sever twisting, bending, and lifting movements that are repetitive or involve heavy objects. Poor posture can cause lower back pain that overstretches and strains surrounding ligaments and muscles.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: This strain injury is caused by repetitive activities involving the wrist and hand. In most cases, small muscles of the forearms and hand are affected, which may cause discomfort and compromise functionality. Symptoms include progressive weakening of hand movements, tingling, or numbness in first three fingers (including thumb), and pain that worsens with activity.
- Headaches: The major cause of headaches in the workplace may be occupational stress linked with conflict, unrealistic performance expectations, and excessive workload. Ergonomic and environmental conditions- such as noise pollution, environmental toxins, eyestrain from computer use poor standing/sitting, and improper lightening-can also headaches.
Understanding ergonomics allows Indian Harbor Chiropractic Associates to improve the quality of their patients' work while promoting overall fitness and health.