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April Wellness: Ergonomics

Prevention is key for Ergonomic Injuries

Taking proper steps to ensure that you are being safe at work can reduce your risk for a work-related injury. One of the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time is work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs can affect your muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels.

Occupational risk factors for developing an MSD include lifting heavy items, pushing or pulling heavy loads, bending, reaching, kneeling, squatting, awkward body postures, and repetitive tasks or motions.

Practice these ergonomic tips to help reduce your risk of developing
an MSD:

  • When lifting heavy objects, always make sure that you are using the proper lifting form and techniques to protect your back, and never lift something that is too heavy for you to lift alone.
  • Increase your awareness of how you use your hands and tools throughout the workday, and adjust your work station so that everything is easy to access, and devices are at eye level.
  • Ensure your body position and posture are comfortable and supported. This may require you to obtain more ergonomic equipment or tools.
  • Make sure you are taking frequent breaks to rest, stretch, change positions, or alternate with another activity. Taking breaks from your work can help prevent injuries from repetitive motions or from sitting stationary for prolonged periods of time.

Musculoskeletal disorders significantly limit mobility and dexterity.
This can lead to early retirement from work or even reduced ability to participate in social roles. MSDs are commonly linked with depression and an increased risk of developing other chronic health conditions.

Don’t wait until you have symptoms of a musculoskeletal disorder or another work-related injury to take preventive measures.

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