The word ergonomics is used a lot when talking about industrial and office furniture. We all understand what ergonomics are, even if we don’t know the exact definition. Merriam-Webster defines ergonomics as:
Simple Definition of ergonomics
: a science that deals with designing and arranging things so that people can use them easily and safely
: the parts or qualities of something’s design that make it easy to use
Ergonomics is a big business in industrial and commercial settings, protecting employees health benefits the company; reducing injury and improving productivity has tangible effects to the bottom line.
But what about the home?
Most of us have ergonomic products in our home, even if we didn’t choose them for such. Things like can openers or tooth brushes, they have ergonomic design to make them easy to use, so what other products can be used in the home to increase our ergonomic comfort and safety?
The answer is the same products we see in the workplace. At work you may sit in a properly fitted seat with a fully adjusted monitor arm to hold up your screen, and your desk was built to maximize productivity. Then we may come home to a desk that is too small, or a chair that doesn’t quite feel right or having to slump into a chair just to view our TV or monitor correctly. Taking care of our ergonomic health only half the day is less than we all deserve.
Proper ergonomics shouldn’t be confined to the workplace. We all deserve to have the safety, comfort, and ease that ergonomics brings in all aspects of our lives. Everyday there are new studies, new advice, and new advice-givers, but the message is clear – our personal health needs need to be addressed, accommodated, and maintained. We need to make adjustments to the products we use everyday to commit to our health.
Diet and exercise are vastly important, but not the only kind of health we need to maintain, your muscles, bones and nerves are equally as important as fat percentages and cholesterol levels. We cannot be our best selves if we are achy, sore, and in pain.
What can you do to improve?
Take a page from your employer – look around your office. The products you see at work are just as beneficial in the home. For example, if you spend long periods of time standing in the workplace, your employer probably provides an anti-fatigue mat for employees to stand on. So in your home, think about where you spend the most time standing, the kitchen usually, or the laundry room. These are perfect places for installing your own anti-fatigue matting, adding a simple mat to those areas can provide lasting benefits.
Anti-fatigue mats work by providing a soft surface to relieve pressure on the foot and ankles, while also keeping the body slightly off-balance which keeps blood moving, and the muscles engaged. This prevents the aching muscles, swelling, and pain in the feet, ankles, knees, and back.
Another example would be your desk at home, whether you use it for work or solely for personal, your desk should be a proper height to be functional and mitigate strain and discomfort, your chair should be the proper size and adjusted well to fit your body. Your monitor should be at eye-level when sitting up straight. These are all changes you should be making in your home to improve ergonomics.
When your body is positioned naturally and not strained or contorted you will find that the aches and pains that you feel in your legs, back, shoulders, neck and head can be diminished. When sitting at a desk, whether at home or at work, your feet should be flat on the ground about shoulder width apart, the front edge of your chair should be comfortable and not putting pressure on your thighs; this can cause lower leg pain by slowing circulation.
Your desk should be high enough for you to comfortably rest your arms on it, about elbow height when seated. This helps prevent back and shoulder pain by eliminating the need to slouch or strain because your desk is too small/big.
Any screen or monitor should be at eye level to prevent head, neck, and shoulder pain. When your monitor is at the right height and distance, it can also help prevent eye strain.
There are many, many more types of ergonomic products that are made for home use, from door knobs and handles, to kitchenware, to bed and bath; the possibilities for improving your home are near endless. Just taking small steps here and there in your home to improve ergonomics will start to pay-off in better sleep, less pain, more focus, and even a better mood. Add that to proper ergonomics in your workplace and you are well on the way to better health!
Production Automation is a distributor of many types of products for commercial, industrial, and medical use. We also carry quite a few products that can be used just as successfully at home. We feel that having products and equipment that not only help you accomplish your task, but also protect your health is an important part of work or home life.
If you need help selecting products for your home or business to improve ergonomics, contact us! Our sales staff is happy to help you identify problems, and suggest solutions. You can reach out to us many ways, call us at 888-903-0333, visit us online, send a request for quote, or through Facebook. We look forward to helping you get the products you need to be your best, at work or at home.