Ergonomics are a wide range of solutions from supportive footwear to learning proper form for specific activities that help you perform daily tasks while minimizing strain on your musculoskeletal structure. By identifying the interactions that you have with your environment, you and your physician and/or employer can find effective ways to support your overall health in both the short and long term.
Common ergonomic solutions include:
- Supportive footwear, including shoe inserts
- Standing desks
- Ergonomic keyboards and vertical mice
- Wrist support
- Adjustable chairs with lumbar supports
- Tilt tables
- Hand tools that support straight wrists
- Handle extensions
- Supportive floor mats
- Sufficient lighting
By improving your physical and mental health with ergonomic devices and techniques, you not only reduce the risk of experiencing specific medical issues, but you can avoid expensive treatments in the long run.
Ergonomics Affect All Aspects of Your Life
Ergonomics at work has become an important topic that many companies approach from a safety or productivity angle. While ergonomics can make a significant difference in employees’ well-being, like those who have a sedentary occupation and/or perform highly repetitive tasks, they also play an important role in your personal life or when you drive.
Considering options to make your living environment more ergonomic creates a comprehensive approach that can maintain sufficient support for your body and appropriate posture. This includes having a dedicated and comfortable space where you study or work in your home or even making sure that you sit properly when enjoying a meal.
Ergonomics Reduce Spinal Pain
By encouraging and facilitating proper posture and providing lumbar support, ergonomic solutions can result in a significant decrease in back and neck pain. Spinal aches can happen due to a variety of reasons, including sedentary occupations with hours spent at a computer or lifting heavy items without proper form.
While you should take regular breaks whenever possible and engage in regular physical activity to counteract repetitive posture and hours spent sitting, you still need ergonomic solutions to prevent or reduce spinal pain.
Ergonomics Minimize the Risk of Injury and Medical Conditions
Beyond spinal health, ergonomics can also help reduce the risk of medical concerns like:
- Balance and vestibular problems
- Cardiovascular issues
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger
- Chronic headaches
- Neck, shoulder, hip, and knees injuries
Ergonomics Improve Mood and Cognitive Functions
Ergonomics offer not only physical health benefits, but they support your mental health. With appropriate equipment that reduces strain on their joints and provides adequate support to their whole musculoskeletal structure, people generally enjoy more positive moods and reduced risks of developing depression and anxiety.
Another mental health perk of ergonomic solutions is increased cognitive functions, where individuals can engage more actively with their job, education, and other activities.
Ergonomics Can Increase Energy Levels
Thanks to how ergonomics affect your mental and physical health, you can also enjoy higher energy levels when using appropriate equipment and methods. You can do more during the day, whether at work or home. When it comes to a company that invests in ergonomics, they typically notice an increase in productivity from their employees.
Ergonomics Supports Safety
Understanding how ergonomics work can help you develop greater awareness of your environment. In turn, this can lead to more safety, whether you minimize the risk of falls or other issues in your home, or your employer learns how to support you and the other workers’ health on a regular basis. In terms of work ergonomics, an organizational shift to promote this type of environment can lead to a commitment to workers’ health.
How Your Physical Therapist Can Educate You on Ergonomics
You may have a general understanding of how ergonomics work and how they can improve your quality of life. While you can explore solutions on your own to change your personal or professional space to support your health, you should consider consulting your physical therapist to get a personalized assessment and set of recommendations. Your physical therapist can also demonstrate proper form to accomplish certain tasks like lifting heavy objects. This can help you engage adequate muscle groups to avoid health issues.
Thanks to their detailed understanding of your medical needs and having monitored prior progress, your provider can maximize the results of any ergonomics updates you bring to your home or workspace. Various ergonomics solutions require adjustments to your height for example to avoid causing unwanted stress on parts of your body.
From educating you on how to use specific equipment to suggesting particular brands, they can make a positive difference in supporting your well-being with the ergonomics change that can especially benefit you. And if some options may not be an appropriate fit for you due to your age or health, they can help you find safe alternatives.
Are you looking for individualized physical therapy in Monmouth or Middlesex Counties? Call ProFysio Physical Therapy today at (732) 812-5200 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment!