For several years, the significance of ergonomics and good posture has been understated. However, with more and more research and data released, it is apparent that the sitting conditions we practiced in our younger years have notable effects on our health as we get older.
Your upper body weight pushes down on the base of your spine as well as the surrounding ligaments and muscles, causing pain after several years. Normally when you experience back pain, you respond naturally by hunching forward. This stretches the ligaments that hold your disc in place. Over time, your discs begin to push out to the nerves of your spinal column because the stretched ligaments are incapable of keeping the base of your spine any longer. The pressure causes a lot of pain, which may result in needing physical therapy or surgery.
Benefits of an Ergonomic Chair at Home
An ergonomic chair is important for use at home because of the number of hours most people spend in front of their computers. Ergonomic seating at the home has become just as important as in the office. Here are some benefits ergonomic chairs have to offer:
It promotes a neutral seated posture: Many people have developed incorrect posture as a result of the way they sit on traditional chairs. With ergonomic chairs, these problems are well taken care of. It comes with the features essential to sufficiently support your posture while sitting. Moreover, the chair’s height can be adjusted so that your feet sit flat on the floor.
Comfortability: Unlike normal chairs, you can sit in ergonomic chairs and feel comfortable throughout. If the features don’t make you comfortable, you can adjust them individually till they fit your needs.
It reduces the risk of back pain: Since ergonomic chairs come with a backrest that supports the spine’s natural curve, they help to keep the back relaxed and free of pain. They are higher than traditional chairs and support the entire back. They also come with a reclining function that make it easy to rest at an angle beyond 90 degrees.
Reduces pressure on the hips: The hard surface of normal chairs makes sitting uncomfortable and cause unnecessary contact pressure on your hips. An ergonomic chair has a good seat depth that helps to support the hips and buttocks.
An ergonomic chair is worth the investment to prevent future issues concerning posture and overall physical health.
If you’ve been dealing with any sort of lower back pain, one thing that doctors will usually suggest is to start using lumbar support. But what exactly is lumbar support, and how does it help treat and prevent lower back pain? Read on to learn more:
What is lumbar support?
Lumbar support, put simply, is any kind of support for your lower back found in office chairs, recliners, and other types of ergonomically friendlyfurniture. Not all types of furniture have it, however,and such poor ergonomics can lead to a lot of pain later on down the road.
Why is it important?
When you’re sitting in an office chair all day, your lumbosacral joint (a region of your lower spine) is dealing with three times more stress as it would when you’re standing. Not only that, but sitting all day also leads to poor posture, which can further injure your muscles and your vertebra in the lumbar region of your back.Without proper support, these stresses and injuries can add up, leading to musculoskeletal disorders, back injuries, and other health issues later on in life. Lumbar support, meanwhile, provides support to your lower back and spine by keeping the spine aligned and preventing your muscles from overworking themselves just to keep you upright.This can not only help heal current injuries but prevent future ones from arising later on.
A great way to support employees at their desk is with an ergonomic footrest. This kind of footrest is essential to any style of desk and can significantly improve the comfort and overall well-being of workers.
The Benefits Associated with Ergonomic Footrests
A footrest at first glance might not make sense in terms of the day-to-day business operation, but it can be an addition that makes the difference in terms of the impact it on your overall seated posture.
Use of an ergonomic footrest can provide the following benefits:
1. Boosts circulation
Sitting for many hours has been found to impede the circulation of blood around the body. With an ergonomic footrest, the chances of developing circulatory problems diminishes. Poor circulation can lead to health complications, so it is important to notice if you feel increased fatigue.
2. Promotes a neutral seated posture
Considering how much time (30min to 1 hr) the average American spends slouching, this can negatively impact posture, resulting in back pain and limiting productivity. Back pain brought on by poor posture is said to cost American employers more than $7 billion per year. It is also responsible for major disabilities among employees under 45 years of age. Ergonomic footrests help to maintain a good sitting posture and improve the health of your spine.
A good ergonomic footrest should elevate your feet at a height perfect for your body. There are different types for movements, such as tilting, swinging, swaying, or rocking. The most basic products can give you a comfortable place to set your feet and stretch it out.
Even with those the use of a standing desk, a footrest can provide much-needed relief. Ergonomic footrests can improve standing time on a standing desk by up to 30 percent.
To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace. At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!
Due to the recent coronavirus pandemic, more and more companies are requesting their employees work from home. It is estimated that one-half to two-thirds of the existing labor force is performing their job duties from the comfort of their own living space. However, as telecommuting becomes the new normal and telework increases in popularity, a new issue now arises: creating an ergonomic workspace at home. It is imperative to create a space that allows a worker’s body to maintain a neutral posture, especially for a work at home employee. Cumulative damage on susceptible body parts such as the back and wrists can occur when working on non-stationary equipment, including laptops, cell phones, and tablets.
An ergonomic work environment is often overlooked in telework. It is not uncommon for telecommuting employees to report soreness and pain, as they are not provided proper instruction on how to set up their space ergonomically to decrease discomfort. In fact, the importance for remote workers to have an ergonomic workstation at home is not emphasized enough. An employee who frequently works on their bed is more likely to suffer from repetitive stress injuries than an employee who has been given guidance on the importance of utilizing ergonomic equipment and having an ergonomic set-up.
To prevent work-related injuries and discomfort while working from home, it is important to maximize ergonomic safety and utilize ergonomic equipment. When telecommuting equipment such as a laptop riser, an external keyboard, and an external mouse is recommended. An ergonomic office chair is also recommended for use at home to maintain a neutral seated posture and prevent damage to an employee’s upper body.
While it is impossible to completely prevent injuries from happening, it is possible to lessen susceptibility with the proper guidance and the correct ergonomic equipment. If you are experiencing work-related pain while telecommuting, ARC can provide aid and recommend potential solutions. An ergonomic evaluation can be performed via web chat to inspect your home workspace and determine the equipment and adjustments necessary to allow you to work safely and comfortably at home.
To schedule an evaluation or for any additional questions, please contact ARC at 323-930-6599 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The design of the laptop computer inherently violates a basic ergonomic design requirement, the keyboard and screen are integrated. In the early days of personal computing, desktop devices integrated the screen and keyboard into a single unit. This resulted in widespread complaints of musculoskeletal discomfort. By the late 1970’s a number of ergonomics design guidelines were written and all called for the separation of screen and keyboard. The reason is simple – with a fixed design, if the keyboard is in an optimal position for the user, the screen isn’t and if the screen is optimal the keyboard isn’t. Consequently, the laptop computer is excluded from current ergonomic design requirements, because none of the designs satisfy this basic need. This means that you need to pay special attention to how you use your laptop computer, because it can cause you problems.
Laptop Computer User Type – the first thing to consider is: how do you use your laptop? Are you an occasional user who works on your laptop for short periods of time or a full-time user with the laptop as your main computer? Using a laptop computer is a trade-off between poor neck posture / head posture and poor hand posture / wrist posture. All users should pay some attention to how they use their laptop. But, occasional users will have fewer risks of problems than full-time users. That is why we provide tips for both part-time and full-time laptop computer users.
Occasional Users – because the neck position / head position is determined by the actions of large muscles, you are better off sacrificing neck posture rather than wrist posture. For occasional use:
Find a chair that is comfortable and in which you can sit back.
Position your laptop computerin your lap for the most neutral wrist posture that you can achieve.
Angle the laptop screen so you can see it with the least amount of neck posture deviation.
Full-time Users – if you use your laptop at work as your main computer you should:
Position the laptop computer on your desk/worksurface in front of you, so that you can see the screen without bending your neck. This may require elevating the laptop off the desk surface using a stable support surface, such as a computer monitor pedestal.
Use a separate keyboard and mouse. You should be able to connect a keyboard and mouse directly to the back of the laptop or to a docking station.
Use the keyboard on a keyboard tray to ensure a wrist neutral posture.
Use the mouse on an adjustable position mouse platform.
Laptop Computer Dimensions – many laptops offer large screens (15″ plus) and can work as desktop replacements (giving the viewing area of a 17″ monitor). However, think about where you will use your laptop most to help you choose the best size. The larger the screen the more difficult it will be to use a laptop computer in mobile locations (e.g., airplane, car, train). There are a number of smaller notebooks and ultraportable laptops on the market. Consider issues of screen size and screen resolution. A small screen (e.g., 12.1″) will be useful in mobile settings. But, if the resolution is high (e.g., XGA – 1024 x 768), make sure that you can read the screen characters and can easily use the input device to point to areas on the screen. The smaller the laptop, the smaller the keyboard, so make sure that you can comfortably type on a keyboard that may be only 75% the size of a regular keyboard.
Laptop Computer Weight – if you are a mobile professional who will be frequently transporting your laptop, think about the weight of the system. By the word ‘system’, I mean the weight of the laptop plus the required accessories (e.g., power supply, spare battery, external disk drive, zip drive, CD-RW, DVD, etc.). Many lightweight portables can become as heavy as regular laptops when the weight of all of the components is added. If your laptop and components weigh 10 lbs or more, you should consider using a carry-on bag that you can pull along. If you want a smaller bag and can comfortably carry your laptop, consider a good shoulder bag design.
Best Ergonomic Solutions for Use of a Laptop Computer
If at all possible, use a laptop docking station, because these devices let you plug in your laptop to a base station that has a monitor, keyboard and mouse already connected. The next best ergonomic solution, if a laptop docking station is either out of your budget or impractical is to have a separate keyboard and mouse at the desk. This allows you to place the laptop at the correct monitor position (to help with head posture / neck posture) and use a comfortable keyboard and mouse that you can put in the best position to prevent injuries that may result from poor wrist posture / hand posture.