4 poor ergonomics and their risks

portrait of mature man at work suffering from shoulder pain
Copyright: Rido

It should come as no surprise that our daily routine of moving, bending and stretching will make an impact on our body whether good or bad. Each of us goes about our day often in auto-pilot. Our schedule is set and muscle memory has taken its place. Just a few years back, MDS’s (musculoskeletal disorders) made up one-third of days-away-from-work cases, meaning there is a large percentage of people who are not strangers to poor ergonomics. Below we have listed 4 damaging yet common ergonomic habits and their consequences.

Repetitive movements

Repetitive movements as you complete your tasks throughout the day have a tendency to cause different types of sprain/strain and stress on the joints by overusing muscles and supporting structures. These issues can cause pain, swelling, decreased range of motion as well as decreased function.

What’s the fix? Take 30 second breaks every 30 minutes while you’re at work and switch up your hand and feet positions when possible.

Poor posture

Whether sitting at a desk or standing and walking around, there is correct and incorrect posture. It is important for your spine to be supported and stabilized in order to stay balanced. It doesn’t take long for poor posture to lead to a number of consequences. Poor posture may lead directly to headaches and migraines, sore muscles from slouching and nerve constriction which can lead to pain, numbness and tingling.

What’s the fix? Shoulders back and down, tuck the chin, pull the belly in and tuck the pelvis under.

Incorrect twisting and lifting

A great way to place your back at risk for disc or muscle pain is to bend forward and twist.  Add a heavy object in your hands and the stress on the spine is compounded. Any incorrect twisting and lifting is sure to cause problems.

What’s the fix? Square up your shoulders and hips and take steps between where you are and where you are going. This will avoid a twist at the spine.

Too few breaks

This one may come as a surprise, however, employees that take too few breaks throughout the day suffer more consequences than one. Aside from the fact that taking breaks are proven to help your productivity,  refraining from taking a break can result in stiff muscles throughout your body.

What’s the fix? Change positions every 20-30 minutes. If you are standing, taking a seat for even a few minutes is beneficial. If you are sitting, take a few minutes to get up and walk or stand during an appropriate work task.

There are no industries or places of employment that are exempt from ergonomics. We want to help you learn healthy ergonomics that will enable you to work the best that you can. From learning to lift correctly to the benefits of taking the time to stretch, we’ve got you covered. At On-Site Solutions, we are committed to you. Through a variety of programs, we dedicate ourselves to learning about the needs of each individual in their place of employment in order to determine the best plan of prevention. Let us know how we can help you and your team.