Ergonomics(Smart work): Risk factors & Its Treatment

  • April 18, 2018
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Why work hard while you can work “SMART”??

Work is described as an activity involving mental or physical effort done to achieve a result. It can vary from kids going to school, doing their home works to adults managing the household and office duties. Work, in any sense, isn’t meant to hurt…But unfortunately, due to the fast pace of life, we often tend to neglect our body postures. Thus, imposing stress on our body, which appears in some kind of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s). Who wouldn’t like to work well organized with the lesser endeavor? Ergonomics is all you need!!!

Ergonomics is derived from the Greek word “nomos” meaning rule and “ergo” meaning work, is the application of fitting the job to the person. It simply means remodel your workplace and the proficiency of your work such that your work is accomplished and your body isn’t much tired. To understand how to lead an ergonomically sound lifestyle, you would first have to identify the various risk factors you may be getting subjected to in your daily life, to remodel them and prevent excessive tension on your body.

Various hazards of Musculoskeletal Disorders

Long term exposure to any of these ergonomic risk factors or the presence of several risk factors within a single job task expands the chances of injury.

Discrete risk factors include:

Poor work practices: They cause futile stress on their bodies that grow fatigued and decreases their body’s ability to properly retrieve.

Indigent overall health habits: individuals who smoke, booze excessively, are obese and exhibit numerous other poor health habits are putting themselves at risk for not only musculoskeletal disorders but also for other chronic ailments that will shorten their life and healthspan.

Poor rest and recovery: MSD’s evolve when fatigue outruns the person’s recovery system, causing a musculoskeletal imbalance. Those who do not get proper rest and recovery put themselves at higher risk.

Poor nourishment, health, and hydration: Those not taking care of their bodies are putting themselves at a higher risk of developing musculoskeletal and chronic health problems.

Just like workplace risk factors, exposure to these individual risk factors by having a poor overall health profile puts them at greater risk of developing a musculoskeletal imbalance and eventually leading to an MSD.

Now that you know how you may end up into an MSD…we’ll tell you few simple MANTRAS to improve on your ergonomics.

Work in Neutral Postures: Neutral postures are postures where the body is properly aligned balanced as the S-curve is maintained while either sitting or standing. Thus placing the least stress on the body and allowing for maximum control and force generation

Reduce Excessive Force: banish excessive force requirements will reduce worker fatigue and the risk of MSD formation in most workers. Using modified assists, counterbalance systems, adjustable height lift tables and workstations, powered equipment and ergonomic tools will reduce work effort and muscle exertions.

Reduce Excessive Motions: Excessive or unnecessary movement should be reduced if at all possible. In situations where this is not possible, it is necessary to eliminate excessive force requirements and awkward postures

Use your Power zone: The power zone for lifting is close to the body, between the mid-thigh and mid-chest height. This region is where the arms and back can lift the most with the least amount of effort

Work at Proper Heights: Work is best done at Elbow height, as shown in image2
Working at proper heights

Keep your workplace systematic: Arranging the desk according to the frequency of requirement improves your work pace and alleviate your work.
Arrange your work area

Minimize Fatigue and Static Load: Design tasks for neutral postures
Minimize force required
Change postures and/or take “micro-breaks”
Minimize Pressure Points: Redesigning the task
Changing layout to avoid leaning
Use cushioned insoles for footwear.
Pad the edge of the table
Round the edges of your chair

Move, Exercise, Stretch: You need to prepare your body for work by warming up to improve performance and lower injury risk.
A warm-up stretching regimen is a great way to prepare your body for work, as stretching will reduce fatigue, improve muscular balance and posture and improve muscle coordination.
It is also beneficial to take regular stretch breaks over your workday to get your blood moving and regain your energy.

Maintain a Comfortable Environment: Create an environment that enhances your workability.
Avoid extreme temperatures
Provide adequate lighting and ventilation
Isolate vibration
Following the above principles will help in increasing work productivity and lessening ergonomic risks.

Proper nutrition, hydration, rest and exercise will help you in maintaining good health and improve your fitness. Combining ergonomics with proper health care will ensure the safety of the self at home and workplace.

With manageable changes in your lifestyle and your working environment, you can save up a lot of your energy as well as deliver the activities at greater ease.

Good Form. Good Function. Good Health.

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