Ergonomics refers to the design of a workspace best suited to the individual user. It is not a one size fits all approach and varies significantly from office workers to labourers and everyone in between.
In addition to the layout of a desk space, ergonomics encompasses all aspects of health and safety thereby minimising the risk of injury in an environment. Safe Work Australia estimates the total economic cost from work related injury and illness is $60 Billion per annum, making appropriate ergonomic set up a worthwhile investment for both individuals and employers.
In hand with the rise in the number of employees working from home, there is an increase in time sitting in an environment you may not be used to. At first what may seem harmless, like using the laptop on the couch or laying on your bed, over time your body is trying to adapt to these postures. Sustaining these undesirable postures, no matter the severity of the position is a sure way to upset a usually happy back, neck or shoulder.
Due to the change in working environments, many people are finding over the past weeks and months, new little pains and niggles appearing. If this sounds familiar, a few changes of your set up can make all the difference.
The goal is to ensure you are the most neutral position that you can be for as long as tolerated. This means you are able to sit up tall in your chair without slouching forwards, or that your feet are comfortably on the floor or footstool under your desk rather than being tucked underneath your chair or sitting cross legged in your chair. This may mean moving or raising the monitor so that you are able to maintain a straight gaze at your screen, while still being able to reach the keypad; it may simply mean that you are keeping all of the utensils that you use on a regular basis in close reach rather than having to lunge across a long table to reach your phone.
Small adjustments can significantly improve the longevity of any position or environment that you work in. If you feel you may benefit from an assessment email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact (07) 3870 1861 to make an appointment for an individual ergonomic assessment.