According to the World Health Organization, ergonomics are important for safety management which falls under the category of health promotion and wellness. As health care providers, ergonomics goes hand in hand with the work we do at Vallejo Chiropractic to help patients achieve wellness.
A study done by the national safety council looked at the causes of workplace injuries and found:
Poor posture is a factor in all cumulative trauma injuries (including but not limited to carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, and sciatica) and is the major accelerator of almost any injury.
Fatigue, gravity, weakness and muscle imbalances can cause poor posture. By strengthening specific muscle groups and stretching other muscles good posture can be achieved. Awareness of posture is key! Patient's always ask us, "What is the best posture?" Often, our response is "The next posture." By being aware of your posture, and making simple changes as little as every 20 minutes, you can improve your posture tremendously.
Use your core muscles. Bend and squat using a hip hinge motion instead of lifting with your back. Never lift and rotate. Keep objects close to your body when lifting. When possible do work at elbow height. Pushing objects is better than pulling them. If your car runs out of gas, are you going to push or pull it to the next station?
An overall conditioning program can keep energy levels up, control weight gain, reduce stress and prevent illness. At work, mini-breaks can be used for stretching exercises. Stretching during the day increases circulation, reduces stress in the muscles, improves posture and also feels great! Remember, the best exercise is the one you’ll actually do!
Rest is an important part of wellness. Muscles need mini-breaks during the day. Get your sleep. 80% of our body’s healing process happens during sleep.
Proper nutrition is important for energy, weight control and keeps our bodies healthy. Increase the amounts of vegetables, and fruits in your diet. Decrease the amount of grains and dairy as these can be inflammatory and can cause more pain in the body. Limit sugar and caffeine. Drink lots and lots of water, at least 2 liters (about a half-gallon) per day.
Life and work can be stressful but it’s how we handle the stress that’s important. Breathing exercises can help control the body’s response to stress. Exercise can also be helpful in combating stress.
Positive Attitude/ Mental Health
A positive attitude can make anything easier, including work. Mental focus can improve work quality and productivity. Our mind is very powerful and creates the context for our body to follow.
If you would like any more ergonomic recommendations for your home or workplace feel free to ask any one of our doctors. Dr. Zack is certified in ergonomic assessment and can give you some great tips to improve your home or office workstation.