Ergonomics Made Easy

If you’re always massaging your neck at your work desk or complaining about an achy lower back, you could probably benefit from an ergonomic work station.

Ergonomics focuses on ways to reduce stress, bad posture and muscle injuries in order to increase productivity and decrease muscle fatigue. An ergonomic work station can help reduce the risk ofdeveloping spine and neck issues.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, work related musculoskeletal disorders are one of the top causes of nerve and spinal injuries. In fact, failure to practice good posture in your work station can create a curvature in your spine over time.

Harbin Clinic chiropractor, Dr. Mack Burt provides several tips for an ergonomic workspace.

“Those with desk jobs should elevate their computer screens so that the top third is in line with theireyes, that way they aren’t straining the muscles in their neck when they look down.” Dr. Burt says.

Dr. Burt suggests workers use a headset to relax the tension in their neck, if they frequently use a telephone.

“People who always use the phone suffer from stressing their nerves when they lean their ear into the handset,” Dr. Burt says.

Dr. Burt also recommends everyone take breaks throughout the workday to stretch their muscles.

“Stretches remind the muscles and nerves that it’s normal to be active,” Dr. Burt says. “You should mostly stretch your upper back and shoulders because compressed nerves in your upper back create pain in your forearms.”

Ergonomics has been shown to help muscle fatigue in various occupations like construction, food processing and administration. Still, no one’s musculoskeletal system is the same, so the best ergonomic strategies are entirely up to your body. 

Dr. Burt states that as long as your neck is straight, muscles are relaxed and nerves aren’t compressed, then you’ve significantly decreased your chance of developing health issues like carpal tunnel and neck tension syndrome.

For more information about ergonomics and musculoskeletal injuries, call Harbin Clinic Chiropractic &Physical Therapy at 762-235-3970 or visit harbinclinic.com/wellness for helpful stretch and fitness tips.