There are a few different types of ergonomics, but the type that you can easily control at work is physical ergonomics. It is all about how the human body relate to physical activities and positions. This includes working postures, manual handling, repetitive movements, heavy work, workplace layout, and how you work with tools, machines and other equipment.
Any incompatibility between the task and your body can result in a situation that may lead to accidents and injuries. Two of the easiest things you can control at work are how you perform a lifting task and how you sit at your desk.
- Try to use lift assist machines or get help for heavy or awkward loads.
- Assess the load for size, shape and weight, to see if you can lift it yourself.
- Have the load as close to your body as possible.
- Keep your feet wide with one close to the load and one slightly further back.
- Put one hand on the side of the object that is furthest away from you and the other hand on the side closest to you. Your hands should be on opposite corners.
- Tighten your core muscles and keep your back straight and strong.
- Lift slowly and hold the load close to your body. Use your legs and keep your back straight and breathe out as you lift.
Sitting at a desk
- Keep your knees at right angles and feet flat on the floor.
- Have a small, two finger gap between the back of the knees and the end of the chair.
- Have the back rest slightly reclines about 10-20 degrees from vertical. Make sure the chair is big enough to have the whole spine supported.
- Your forearms should be horizontal and supported by the desk.
- Your shoulders should feel relaxed when your arms are on the desk.
- The top of the computer monitor should be in line with your eyes and within arm’s reach.
These are some basic things you can do to optimise your ergonomics at work and keep your body feeling good. Your physiotherapist can guide you through other ergonomic principles to minimise the risk of injury at work. Call Back In Motion Aspendale Gardens on 9580 1985.