Ergonomics and the Prevention of Workplace Injuries
Performing repetitive tasks can increase your risk of injury or developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). Ergonomics seeks to reduce that risk by removing undue stress placed on your body. Since MSDs account for one-third of worker injuries, many workplace safety programs stress healthy ergonomics. In addition, most employer health plans cover chiropractic care as preventative and treatment methods for MSDs.
Unhealthy ergonomics may be the culprit if you’re suffering from any of these symptoms: frequent headaches, lower back pain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Poor ergonomics and the resulting symptoms may lead to difficulty concentrating, decreased work productivity, and overall poor work performance.
So what can you do to prevent injury or an MSD? First, take regular breaks (3- to 5-minutes each) and do some stretching exercises, especially if your job involves repetitive tasks. Second, apply these healthy ergonomic tips to your work area:
- Position your work so you can sit or stand in a comfortable position. Be sure your neck is in a neutral position and minimize how often you have to look up and down or side to side.
- Arrange your work tools and supplies, so that you don’t have to lean, bend, or twist at the waist frequently to get to them.
- Take 10- to 15-second breaks throughout your task. Look away from your monitor. Stand up and stretch your arms.
- Shrug and relax your shoulders when sitting for long periods of time.
So how does chiropractic care help if workplace injuries occur or MSDs develop? Poor ergonomics can lead to the misalignment of the spine, the body’s core foundation, which in turn increases your risk for pain and injury. Chiropractors readjust the spine’s alignment to relieve the pain. Chiropractic care is also an effective method of pain management.
For further tips on how you can create better habits in your workplace or if you have experienced a workplace injury, make an appointment today at Access to Health in Norwich, Connecticut by calling (860) 889-1475.