Ergonomics and your Health: Cut through the Hype

It seems like “ergonomic” and “ergonomically” designed products have become utterly meaningless terms like “natural” foods. When a word is thrown around by marketers to evoke a certain emotion and attitude in consumers, the true meaning of the word is lost to the “hype.” This is no different with ergonomic products. Just because something has a quirky or curvy design does not mean that it is a truly ergonomic product, in the sense that it is safer to use than its non-ergonomic equivalent.

Ergonomics experts agree, ergonomics is not just about buying fancy products, it is about “the fit between your body and an activity and adjusting the work space and environment you’re in.” So what does this mean? Buying tried and tested ergonomic products can make a difference, but so can simple things like:

1. Adjust the height of your monitor and chair.

2. Take tiny breaks every 15-20 minutes, and a few minutes every hour just to rest and look away from the computer screen.

3. Sit properly in your chair, and don’t slouch.

The bottom line with ergonomics in the work place is that injuries are caused by unnatural body positioning and motions. So minimize the negative impact of these motions by making them less unnatural to your body, and taking enough breaks so your body can rest and readjust.