Ergonomics has been defined as the art of fitting work, or making work easier for the end user without using forceful means. It is about working from a comfortable position and not forcing the worker to fit into the work. When one talks about ergonomics, it is about body mechanics such as using the right posture, an efficient work layout and using the right grips when handling machine and equipment. Although the material contains three fundamental and powerful concepts on ergonomics, I am going to talk about the improving work posture and ergonomics.
Quite often, poor posture and poor ergonomic habits instill numerous demands to the body, which may lead to severe back pains and rapture of the spinal structure. Owing to poor working posture, some of the affected body parts include the back, elbows, shoulders, neck, wrist and hands. Fortunately, some of these poor habits of ergonomics are within the control of the worker and they can be changed. Chasen (2009) contends that it is essential to select tools that do not need a lot of force when working. Tools which are friendly and flexible to use are likely to minimize the pressure and fatigue occasioned to the body. For example, it is advised that people should avoid raising elbows and shoulders if they are working while sitting down. This is likely to exert a lot of force and weight to the hand, which then spreads to the spinal system and leads to fatigues. Instead, exemplary ergonomics requires that people should always strive to work in positions that drive the force downwards since it is more comfortable.
Another significant way of improving work posture is by keeping the body aligned to the right position while working. When using non-powered hand tools, it is advisable to distribute evenly the body weight through the hands and wrists. Similarly, one should sit straight by aligning the hips and shoulders in a vertical position. These are comfortable positions that can help in supporting the body and reduce straining of muscles (Chasen, 2009).
When working while standing, it is also imperative to wear protective and supportive foot wear. Since work involves a lot of synchronization between the body and the brain, it is necessary to avoid wearing high heeled shoes that may strain ankles, legs and body nerves. According to Chasen (2009), wearing supportive footwear ensures that the centre of gravity of the body is proportionally aligned, thus, reducing back pains and enhancing proper posture. Besides, when standing for a long time while working, it is advisable to stand on a comfortable place such as a floor mat.
In conclusion, ergonomics is a concept that can be adequately practiced through the use of the right skills and knowledge. When choosing a tool for work, it is vital to select an appropriate tool that will be comfortable for the user. Such tools should not exert pressure and fatigue to the body. Besides, practicing exemplary ergonomics makes one enjoy work in more efficient manner.
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