It’s Time to Prop up My Feet…for Ergonomics, of Course!

Image courtesy of shappy85's photostream

Image courtesy of shappy85’s photostream

Did you know that many employees that spend a lot of time behind a desk should actually prop up their feet? Matter of fact, any person who spends increasing amount of time performing the same function could benefit from some type of Ergonomic adjustment. What is Ergonomics? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines Ergonomics as the study of work. The idea is to design the job to fit the person versus forcing the person to adapt to the job. By adapting the work environment, adding/modifying tools, or adapting work stations, physical stress on the body can be reduced thus resulting in happier and healthier employees.

Here are some simple tips for drivers, those that spend a lot of time behind a desk, and those that walk and carry items.

Simple Ergonomic Adjustments for Drivers
-Hips should be as high as your knees. If too low, use a cushion.
-Be sure you are able to reach the pedals without moving your back off the seat back
-Adjust the steering wheel down to minimize reach. Reaching causes strain on your neck and back

Simple Ergonomic Adjustments for Desk Workers
-Hands, wrists, and forearms should be straight and parallel to the floor
-Feet are fully supported by the floor or a footrest
-Thighs and hips are parallel to the floor
-Knees and hips are at the same height

Simple Ergonomic Adjustments for Carrying/Walking
-Bend from the knees, not from the hips when bending down to pick something up
-Lift with your legs, not your back
-Use rolling carts, pushing with two hands, whenever possible
-Try to keep bags to no more than 15% of your weight. For a 200lb person, that would be 30lbs.

Now if I could only find a study that indicates that umbrella drinks at work are a good idea too…

Sources:
http://www.ergonomicssimplified.com/tips/driving, http://www.osha.gov/Publicatihttp://greatist.com/health/how-carry-heavy-bag-without-wrecking-yourselfons/osha3125.pdf

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