Ergonomics is the study of our bodies efficiency in the working environment. Take a moment to think about your typical work week and what type of physical activity you perform during it. Many of us may realize that we spend a lot of time sitting at the computer or using our phones. Others of us may be required to perform more physical labor that requires repetitive lifting, carrying, or reaching. Whatever the case may be, we are doing this for 40 hours or more during our work week. Your ergonomics during these tasks are key to reduce the risk of injuries if you don't already have them.
40 hours a week is a lot of time. That is time that can be productive or potentially detrimental to our health. According to the 2012 BLS report, 34% of incidences that required time off from work were secondary to musculoskeletal injuries and required a median of 12 days off from work! This 34% can be drastically reduced if you take control of your everyday health and learn the proper ergonomics of your job. Understanding what your body should look like in proper ergonomic positions and utilizing tools designed to assist with keeping proper posture during work-related activities will decrease the chances of becoming part of the 34% of workers mentioned above.
If you are interested in reducing your potential risk for injury with your job, our physical therapists can perform a detailed ergonomic assessment screen and provide you with individualized adjustments and education on how to be ergonomically-sound with your profession. At Whole Body Health Physical Therapy, we will sit down with you and discuss which ergonomic factors you can improve at work. We commonly ask clients to take pictures and mimic desk and lifting set ups. We can also assist you in recommending changes in desks, chairs, keyboards, etc. to reduce your pain. Whatever the problem is, we will help you find it.