What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics (say "er-guh-NOM-iks") is the study of the kind of work you do, the environment you work in, and the tools you use to do your job. The goal of office ergonomics is to set up your office work space so that it fits you and the job you are doing.
When your workstation is set up right, you may:
Why should your work area be ergonomic?
It's common for injury and illness to happen at work. Both can cost you and your employer time and money. They can also affect how well you do your job.
Most on-the-job injuries are caused by:
Office ergonomics can help you be more comfortable at work. It can help lower stress and injury caused by awkward positions and repetitive tasks. It focuses on how things are set up in your office work space, such as:
What kinds of injuries happen at work?
Most injuries that happen at work are caused by physical stress and strain, such as sitting in the same position for a long time, making repetitive movements, and overuse. These injuries can cause stress and strain on your muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels, and spine.
Symptoms can include pain in your:
You could also be at risk for problems such as tendinopathy and bursitis. These are caused by overuse and repetitive movements. Over time, these kinds of movements can make you feel bad. They can cause long-term health problems. And they use up your sick time.
You may be at greater risk for injuries at work if you have other health problems, such as arthritis or emotional stress.
How can you prevent injuries at work?
Here are a few ways you can prevent injuries at work:
What can you do if you have a work-related injury?
You can try home treatment for a few days when you first notice symptoms. Try to:
If you've tried home treatment for several days in a row and it hasn't helped, call your doctor. You may need physical therapy or other treatment to prevent more injuries.
To help prevent another injury, review your work area. Be sure it is set up in the best way possible to fit you and the job your are doing. You may be able to get more information about workplace safety and ergonomics from your human resources department at work or from your state's Department of Labor.
Frequently Asked Questions
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org