Ergonomics is a much broader subject that just to “a revolve chair to sit on”. Day by day machines and gadgets are making our life simpler and more comfortable, but sometimes may be some simple tools are hard to use due to some wrong ergonomics. This term “Ergonomics” derived from Greek word ERGO and NOMOS, meaning the Natural Law of Work. It’s a subject which matches task with people.
In early days of industrialisation getting the job done is more important than the wellbeing of the worker, around 1940 people started realise that work could be done more efficiently if the equipment was easier and safer to use. Then the science of Ergonomics was born. The main goal of ergonomics is not give stress to the body but finish the job efficiently.
The physical fitness between us and our man made environment affects us all the time. One activity which is easy for a young man may not be easy for an old man or a little kid. Its depends upon the clothing, comfort of our furniture, handling of objects, space in workstation, height, reach to the object’s, visibility, strength, ease of handling things and more. If out equipment does not fit our physical task then it may be injurious to all of us.
In some professional areas like a control room or in an office workstation ergonomics is essential for the workers where they are putting a lot of physical and mental stress in their body. To design a workstation another essential field of ergonomics is anthropometry. It derived from the Greek words “anthropo” and “metricos” meaning the measurement of humans. In office ergonomics not only size and fitness but age, gender and sometimes ethnic background is also very important.
Whenever we are using a tool or an object we need to generate some amount of force. To calculate how much force a human can produce easily the knowledge of biomechanics is also needed in the field of ergonomics. Like to design an ergonomic knob the ergonomic should think about the torque force of the hand whereas if he is designing a tool the neutral wrist position must be the focus point.
But unfortunately even the best designs can’t always prevent injuries. Its human posture and their work style in which the ergonomist should focus on. Wrong posture of the vertebrae can lead to the work related musculoskeletal disorder or RSI. But even we put our self in a good posture for prolonged time then also the risk of RSI got increase. Human body is not designed for prolonged posture or repetitive work. Ergonomics is depends upon the attitude of the user as well as proper ergonomics in workstation.
How ergonomics costs in people’s health
Wrong ergonomics leads to muscle pain:
- Decrease health and quality of life,
- Decreased social involvement,
- Decrease recreational involvement,
- Decrease morale,
- Increase absenteeism,
- Increase stress,
- Increase anxiety,
- Increase depression,
Now in KOREC we are trying to break this vicious cycle by a very simple way
- Correct ergonomics and posture,
- Diagnose proper problems,
- Treat appropriate areas,
- Guide for the maintenance phase.
We would like to suggest a few ways by which RSI can be prevented
Ergonomic workshop: an ergonomist can guide you about your correct posture via any presentation. In that workshop a physiotherapist can also guide you for the proper exercise schedule to prevent RSI.
On site work station evaluation in this process an ergonomist will visit your workstation and guide you for the proper posture. The ergonomist will also guide you for the proper positioning of the workstation accessories. The ergonomist will also guide you for the proper use of those accessories.
On site RSI clinic: here a physiotherapist and an ergonomist (or both) will visit your office. The physiotherapist can take care of those people who are already suffering and the ergonomist can guide you for the prevention of injury.
On site assembly line evaluation: an ergonomist will visit your factory set up and will find out the proper cause of the problems via analysing the tasks by various scales of ergonomics guided by OSHA.
For the long or short distance of driving proper driving ergonomics is essential for comfortable and safe journey.
Risk Factors with driving
- Shoulder impingement.
- Increased load on lower lumbar.
- Sciatic nerve pain (hip impingement).
- Leg room – lack of.
- Carpal Tunnel symptoms.
- Head and neck pain – no head room.
- Body is subjected to outside forces: vibration, jerking, no stabilization.
First in driving ergonomics people have to choose their vehicle properly. If you are in a small frame vehicle make sure of your movement is not restricted there. All functions of that vehicle must work properly.
- Shoulder impingementAdjustment of seat is a key factor for every long trip. For that put the steering wheel fully forward and up.
- The seat should be at lowers position and the back rest is 300 reclined.
- Push the seat back as much you can for the proper leg space. Pedals should touch the great toe.
- Foot rotation should be avoided.
- Carpal Tunnel symptoms.
- There should be no gap between the seat and buttock.
- If lumber support is unavailable use lumber roll.
- Give your body a few minutes out of the car before lifting things from the trunk.
- Always remove your wallet from your back pocket before sitting. This causes the pelvis to twist stressing the back.
- Take frequent breaks to get out and stretch at least every 2 hours.