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10 Most Important Ergonomic Measures & Principles

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Tim Rhodes

Comfort, a need and desire of every individual, you can achieve that by taking ergonomic measures.

Do you want ease and comfort for your parts of bodies in your workplace?

Well, the current article is worth reading for this purpose, read it till the end and add value, ease, and comfort to your life!

We are going to discuss ergonomic measures, their importance, and principles in the present article.

The human body is designed in a very unique way, and if we want it to work well, we have to take care of it in every possible way and reduce all risk factors that may lead to any damage or musculoskeletal disorders.

10 Most Important Ergonomic Measures And Principles

Ergonomics is one of the best ways to take care of your body and make it healthier to perform your best at your workplace.

Are you aware of the term egro glasses? – If not, don’t worry, let’s start learning!

1. Hold Up Neutral Posture

First of all, body postures are of great importance to the health and safety of workers.

Most of the time, workers don’t ponder on the position of their bodies while working and get unwanted pains, injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.

The causes are a number of risk factors which include the unbalanced position of the body and absolute change in the natural postures.

Neutral posture helps the joints aligned and keeps the body balanced even while standing, walking, or sitting.

These postures maintain the production of force and reduce the level of stress enforced on the muscles, bones, nerves, and tendons.

On the other hand, the “awkward position” is the parallel of the neutral position.  

Balance the “S-curve” of your spine.                                                        

The natural shape of the human spine remains the same in all situations and positions.

Its actual shape is almost like an S.

On the other hand, “C-curve” and “inverted V-curve”  are the wrong position of the spine.

In the lower back of the body, there’s a part of this S-curve that indicates to “keep a little swayback” for its better functioning.

Thus, it’s really important to keep the back in this “S” position either standing or sitting.

When you’re working and your back is in the C-curve position, it will be the cause of serious strain.

The second wrong position is “inverted V-curve”, it’s even more dangerous than a C – curve.

It becomes the cause of the most serious strain on the worker’s back and can lead to musculoskeletal disorders and compromise the safety and health of workers.

The workers get these strains or injuries without any weight lifting or difficult tasks.

When a worker bends their back in the wrong position, all the pressure directly comes to their back.

As a result, great strains are created.                                                               

To save oneself from these problems and reduce the risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders, “tilter or lifters” are one of the best solutions.

The designer may also arrange some other equipment according to the situation to improve health and safety for the workers.

Keep Your Neck Aligned

The bones of the neck are also joined with the spine.

In this way, it’s equally important to maintain the S-curve.

The continued twists and bent position of the neck become the cause of stress and pain as in the lower case.

The good practice is to make changes according to the working position.

Adjust and arrange the tools and equipment at the workplace that maintain the neutral neck posture.

Take Your Elbows At Side

Elbows and shoulders are the parts of the body that get more stressed.

When you’re finding something at height, or doing some sort of typing without placing your elbows at the handles of the chair, your both body parts get distressed.

Avoid these positions, you can tilt the things or you may also change your position to drop your elbow and shoulders to relax.

Keep the elbows aside during the working and get your elbows and shoulders relaxed.

This practice is easy to do but most people don’t take it seriously and it becomes one of the prevalent risk factors. 

Keep Your Wrists In Neutral Posture

Working with the tools all day long is one of the risk factors that may cause stress on the wrists. 

Being a bit smarter, adjust the tools in your hands wisely, where your wrists stay in the natural position. 

For instance, while working with the pair of pliers, you bend your rest and apply force to the tool. 

The correct way to do this to ensure occupational safety and health isn’t compromised is to keep your wrist neutral and change the position of the tool.

Similarly, working on the computer, you should align your wrist with elbows on the mouse of the computer. 

2. Lessen Excessive Force And Vibration

Here’s the second most important work-related principle of ergonomics. 

The human body is designed in a specific way and doesn’t have much flexibility that anyone can mold it as he/ she wants.

The excessive force on the back of your neck will ultimately cause pain, fatigue, and stress. 

The greater force or pressure on the human bones and joints can cause serious injuries as well as health and safety issues such as musculoskeletal disorders.

For instance, to pull the heavy machinery, to shift it from one place to another.

At the very same time, the floor is imbalanced and rough and the wheels are also not working.

Thus, all the force was put by the worker which left bad after-effects.

The best practice to eliminate these risk factors is to reduce the work-related activities that require more physical effort, energy and cause repetitive stress.

The things that need to carry out with the hands, must have the handheld because it reduces the exertion.

Try to reduce risk factors by managing the tools and various types of equipment for the workers.

Not only to facilitate them but also for their ergonomic design of the workplace.

Reduce Too Much Vibration

Excessive use of vibration is not good for human health and is one of the worst risk factors.

“Hand-arm vibration can cause a range of conditions collectively known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), as well as specific diseases such as white finger or Raynaud’s syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis”.

It leaves an adverse neural and circulatory effect on the fingers causing.

Vibration also becomes the cause of musculoskeletal disorders.

The best solution to these risk factors is to change the vibrating tools with the other ones to improve occupational safety and health for the workers.

3. Manage The Proper Lighting

 Another important principle of ergonomics is to manage the proper light in the workplace.

Multiple studies highlighted that poor lighting is one of the common risk factors at workstations.

Working in the dim light not only affects the eyesight badly, but also becomes the cause of fatigue, headache, and muscles stretch.

Poor lighting or dim light makes the tasks difficult to accomplish for the workers.

Here’s an example; the worker working in the dim light, his duty is to fix the machine parts.

What do you expect? – He will fulfill his task with great success!

Might not! – Because the machinery is quite complicated to do, which requires proper light and good eyesight as well. 

This practice not only proves hard on his health but also decreases the productivity of his work.

It may also be the cause of other work-related injuries.

Especially, when the workers have to work on computers or laptops, provide them proper light.

The computers should not be placed near the windows or some very bright background.

According to ergonomic principles, adequate light is the basic necessity of the workers.

4. Reduce The Static Load

Reducing the static load is another important principle of ergonomics.

When you stick your body in the same position for a long time, this position is known as a static load.

This is something obvious that, when you hold up your body in the same posture, it will be the cause of fatigue, pain, discomfort and in some cases leads to some work-related injury.

One of the examples of static load has held your arms over your head for some time when you’re fixing something on the ceiling.

When you’re working in this position, you should change your position after a shorter period or use some alternate way.

Holding your tools or other parts of the machine while working, is another appropriate example of static load and fatigue.

You can save yourself from this fatigue by using a fixture near to you and reduce the risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders.

Similarly, standing for any work-related activity for a long time may cause unwanted pain in your legs.

The solution to this problem is to use the footrest, change the position of your leg, and make standing easier for yourself.

5. Work At The Proper Height level

The other important principle is to work at a proper height.

While doing the seating arrangements, keep this point in mind to improve occupational safety and health.

When you’re not working at the proper height, your body position must go wrong.

And later on, you come across some severe body ache.

For example, if the computer is not placed in front of your height rather than below your sitting level.

You might work in this position for hours but after that, your muscle shoulders are affected and you catch in the muscle pain.

6. Make All The Things Reachable

Keeping an eye on the ergonomic principles, an important aspect is to make all the things under your reach during work.

This concept is also known as “reach envelope”.

It looks like a semi-circle, where things are within your reach.

Sometimes, the workstations are so big that the workers have to move here and there during the work, to take the tools and stuff he/ she needs.

It causes fatigue and laziness, the workers then lose their concentration and attention to the work.

The ergonomic principle says that; the things that you use at your workplace frequently must be within your forearms’ reach.

Mostly, the problem occurs because of the absent-mindedness of the worker.

You must know your daily basis needs and then make them closer to your sitting place.

Once you develop this habit, it will bring peace to your life and you have to put less effort into collecting the things.

Reaching the boxes is also one of the everyday problems in the offices.

The way to solve this problem is to slant the boxes, arrange the boxes, and put the set of tools in separate boxes.

7. Avoid Unnecessary Movements

Another important principle to ponder on is to avoid unnecessary movements or motions.

The more you indulge your body parts moving during work, the more you get tired.

Thus, work smartly and reduce too many movements!

It’s better to change your manual tools to the electronic ones.

When you make your mind eliminate the body movements, then you also rearrange the layout of your pieces of equipment.

Instead of putting all the stuff in the square box, you can move your toolbox closer to you and tilt its position.

In this way, it will be easier for you to make your desired tools or pieces of equipment during work.

It happens when you spread things all over the workplace.

The solution is to arrange your things according to your needs.

8. Exercising And Stretching During Work

Routine exercise and stretching can make the human body fit and healthy!

If the nature of your job is like sitting for hours and hours, then you should change the position of your chair.

Stretch and move your body from time to time, and change your position as well. 

In some other cases, if your job demands stand up for hours to deal with customers.

Then you can use the desk for yourself, where you get both the options; to sit and to stand.

The use of this desk is ideal because then you can balance your body position as you want.

Those workers who are doing some physically demanding job, must take intervals during the long time work and stretch their bodies.

In this way, they not only relax, but these steps work for them as a booster.

Exercising and stretching the body during working hours is best to boost or warm up your body, increase your stamina, and keep you fresh and active for work.

You can easily stretch your shoulders, fingers, arms, and legs even at your workstation.

You can prepare your body to work with the warm-up stretches or exercise and use your energy in the best possible way while working.

9. Reduce The Pressure Points

The awareness of pressure points is very important for every individual.

Another name of pressure points is “contact stress”.

In this ergonomic principle, you should minimize your pressure points during your work.

Let’s understand this with the help of some examples.

To squeeze hard upon the tool, put force on this like tweezers.

You can fix his problem by using the countering the handles on the back and managing to cushion them.

When you are sitting, another pressure point occurs, that is on your thighs and the lower part of the table.

When you drop your legs or sit on a high chair, then the pressure builds on behind your knees.

Use cushions while sitting on the chair.

Standing straight for a long period builds pressure on your heels and you get tired and caught by the pain.

The solution is to use “anti-fatigue” mats or some special type of insole in your shoes.

You have to observe your work area, find out the pressure points, and make improvements accordingly.

10. Create The Healthy Environment

Creating a healthy environment at the workstation is the sole purpose of ergonomics.

This principle helps you out in creating a good, comfortable, and healthy environment at your workplace.

Almost all the basic requirements come under this principle.

Adequate space and arrangement of the things.

No one wants bumps at the workplace, to avoid this you must provide clearance.

There must be much room at your workplace that you can easily move your head, arms, back, legs, and feet.

Your seating arrangement should be adequate so that nothing can hinder your view.

What You Should Know About Ergonomics

 Ergonomics has been derived from the two Greek words ‘Ergon’ and ‘Nomos’, which means work and laws. 

So, simply and easily, we can say that ergonomics is the discipline of science in which we study human work and its laws, related to the human body.

International Ergonomics Association Executive Council, August 2000 defined Ergonomics in the following words.

“Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of the interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data, and methods to design to optimize human well-being and overall system performance”.

It’s a study that helps the workers to produce productivity, create efficiency, and grow better in their work environment.

The major focus of this discipline is to study the relationship between human beings and the work, its environment, and tools. 

One of the major concerns of ergonomics is to create and design the equipment and products for the workers that fit better in the work environment.

 So, the workers give their best, and the better output can be taken from them.

In this discipline, the workers’ problems are also addressed and provided the best possible solutions to these problems.

Importance

Ergonomics is equally important at a personal and professional level.

Let’s suppose you meet a person, who’s suffering from some injuries because of the wrong way of working and not take care of the comfort, ease, and relaxation of the body.

You then realize the importance of ergonomics, and once you start it, you never want to leave it.

Some of the following points throw light on the importance of the Ergonomic solution.

Reduce The Risk Factors

Ergonomics reduces the risk factors in your life, related to your bodily injuries, sickness, fatigue, and mental stress. 

These principles give you knowledge of how to maintain good health.

When you take these precautionary measures, it eliminates several problems in your life.

Boost The Level Of Productivity

You can boost your productivity with the help of the best ergonomics solutions.

When you avoid the wrong and awkward position of your body it gets relaxed, tension-free, and calm.

In this state of peace and comfort, a worker can show his productivity in the best possible way.

This is something obvious, that when the human body is in relax mode, feel comfortable and healthy, an individual can perform with all his abilities and capabilities.

Ergonomic solutions help the workers in lessening their level of stress, depression, tension, and unwanted body aches.

These practices make the work much easier and comfortable by avoiding the clumsy body position and keep in the same position for a long time.

The researches also prove that by taking these measures, the level of productivity increases.

Cost-Efficient

Ergonomics naturally reduces expenditures, because its major concern is worker’s health.

As a result, the cost that has to be spent on the injuries and sickness of the workers could be saved.

No need to be appointed new and extra staff, due to some health issues and injuries of the present staff.

All the tasks could be done by the selected workers of the organization or company.

Produce Good Quality Work

Ergonomic practice proves best in producing quality work.

Being a health worker, working in a healthy environment, the employees not only enjoy the comfort and ease but also improve the quality of the work.

OtheR

In addition to the above-mentioned pluses of ergonomic solutions, there are also numerous benefits of them, which also add in the value and importance them.

It reduces the rate of absentees and lessens the panic and tension of the owners about the workers.

Getting the safest work environment, which is healthier and enriched as well, the workers work with more passion and feel secured.

It also works as a motivating factor for the workers.

Final Thoughts

To cut the long run short, I may conclude that the principles of ergonomic measures should be the mandatory part of a worker’s life.

All these principles are doable, they only need some focus and conscious effort.

You can observe all these measures at your workplace, aware of your team or higher authorities, and minimize the ergonomics risk elements.

Applying ergonomics principles in your workplace will help you personally and professionally. 

It makes your body healthier and safe and your business grow to the highest level. 

Thus, don’t forget to wear your ergo-glasses at your workplace!

Reading the article is not enough, you should apply all these principles in your practical life.

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