Ergonomics at Work and at Home


      Ergonomic health conditions can be caused by many different factors and may display in any number of ways. However, there are ways to work smarter, both at home and in the workplace, to prevent most of the ergonomic health conditions.

      Ergonomic conditionsare disorders of the soft tissues, specifically of the muscles, nerves,tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels and spinal discs. Theseconditions are often caused by factors such as:

      • Overexertion whilelifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching;
      • Repetitive motions;
      • Working in awkwardpositions;
      • Sitting orstanding too long in one position;
      • Using excessiveforce;
      • Vibration;
      • Resting on sharpcorners or edges; or
      • Temperatureextremes.

      While these stressors canoccur from activities at work, such as working on an assembly line, using heavyequipment or typing on a computer, they also can result from activities at homelike playing video games, helping someone move, participating in hobbies suchas sewing or through home repair projects.

      Ergonomic conditionsare best dealt with when they are caught early. Common symptoms include:

      • Pain;
      • Swelling;
      • Numbness;
      • Tingling;
      • Tenderness;
      • Clicking; and
      • Loss of gripstrength.

      If you areexperiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to see your physician or anoccupational physician as soon as possible to determine the cause of your pain.