The Importance of Ergonomics

Benefits of Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of workplace environments and workstations. Proper ergonomics or “setup” of a workstation are critical for workplace safety to avoid worker injury. Ergonomists or other ergonomics experts help employers and employees to improve workplace ergonomics.

Ergonomists and ergonomic experts help identify workstations that are dangerous to employee health. Poor workstations can lead to improper movement patterns, poor posture, and bad positions. All of these can lead to repetitive stress or overuse injuries. These injuries can be every bit as severe as those experienced with a major fall or car accident.

Causes of Ergonomic Hazards

Computer workstations are often full of ergonomic hazards. Computer monitors at improper heighths, mouse and keyboard positioned on top of the desk, improperly fitted computer chairs, and the wrong workstation equipment can all lead to ergonomic hazards. Poor workstations that need adapting can also come in the form of garbage trucks, assembly lines, checkout counters, and construction sites.

Various areas of the body can be affected and injured by poor ergonomics and the resulting overuse injuries from poor ergonomics. Sometimes injuries caused by poor ergonomics happen all at once, but frequently they happen gradually over time. Sometimes those injuries will happen while at work or on your workstation and other times they will finally come to a head at home or while sleeping. Headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, hand pain, numbness in the arm, numbness in the hand, mid back pain, low back pain, hip pain, leg pain, knee pain, and numbness or tingling into the legs and feet are all possible symptoms caused by these types of injuries.

Treating ergonomic overuse injuries should be based on 3 things:

  1. Working to remove the ergonomic stress through changing the workstation, changing movement patterns, and/or changing posture. Without this step, you are doomed to a repetitive cycle of re-injury.
  2. Treatment of the injured joints, muscles, fascia, and nerves with chiropractic adjustment, massage, and Active Release Technique (ART). Treatment helps start the recovery process, decrease pain, and improve the patient’s capacity to work and live their life.
  3. A comprehensive home care regiment including icing, heating, rest, stretching, activity modification, and strengthening exercises. This empowers a patient to help themselves and speeds up the recovery process.

If you are experiencing work-related injury or think you may have a poorly set up workstation Metro Chiropractic can help you. Dr. Barringer is an expert on ergonomics, movement patterns, and injury. He can help you navigate either the injury avoidance or recovery process. Dr. Barringer is experienced and accomplished with chiropractic adjusting and Active Release Technique. Dr. Barringer also works with an experienced and skilled massage therapy staff who can help you feel better fast!