ERGONOMICS AND MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS
Ergonomics is a field of science, that deals with the comfort and safety of the human body by adjusting tools, workstations, & work processes to fit the worker.
Good ergonomics can improve your health, give you a better experience, and increase productivity.
The ergonomics of an individual are unique as it is designed on the basis of the size, shape, strength, and ability of the individual worker. Different ergonomics of each individual call for different designs in equipment, furniture, workstation, and routines
Different musculoskeletal disorders associated with poor ergonomics are:
Muscle and joint stresses. Which are caused by doing the same work over and over. Continued muscle exertion reduces the blood flow to the muscles, so strain and sprain do not heal.
Contact stresses- these are the injury caused by repeated contact with a hard surface, which can describe anything from a fingertip on a keyboard to a hand-held hammer striking a nail.
Excessive force and pressure are harmful. Also, the cold temperature and vibration, reduce sensitivity and the blood flow to the muscles, contributing to the injury.
Symptoms of injuries caused by poor ergonomics are:
Pain, swelling, & stiffness in the joints such as wrists, shoulders & knees, numbness or tingling in the hand or feet, back or neck pain, stabbing pain in the arms or legs, weakness or clumsiness in the hands.
Job and equipment must be designed to prevent stress such as lifting heavy objects, twisting/ bending, or stretching motions.
Excessive repetitive work, pounding with the hand, kneeling for a long period of time. and a host of other stressful postures and activities should be prevented.
A physiotherapist can help you to make your ergonomics good with some workstation ergonomics changes and therapeutic exercises to prevent these injuries.
For example adjust the height of the chair, stool, workbench, or table surface so you can work in a comfortable, relaxed position. If you have to stand all day, use an elevated footrest to keep your foot on it alternate one and then the other. Place frequently used material close at hand and at a convenient height. Learn from the physiotherapist, how to lift the weight without harming your back. Take a short break from your work.