What is Ergonomics?
word "Ergonomics" comes from two Greek words "ergon," meaning work,
and "nomos" meaning "laws." Today, however, the word is used to
describe the science of "designing the job to fit the worker, not forcing the worker
to fit the job." Ergonomics covers all aspects of a job, from the physical
stresses it places on joints, muscles, nerves, tendons, bones and the like, to environmental
factors which can effect hearing, vision, and general comfort and health.
stressors include repetitive motions such as those caused by typing or
continual use of a manual screwdriver. Other physical stressors could be tasks involving vibration
such as using a jackhammer, or tasks which involve using excessive force, such as
lifting a heavy box of books. Working in an awkward position, such as holding a
telephone to your ear with your shoulder, can also cause problems. Repetitive motions,
vibration, excessive force, and awkward postitions are frequently linked to ergonomic
disorders; however, the majority of "Cumulative Trauma Disorders" (CTDs)
or "Repetitive Strain Injuries" (RSIs), are caused by repetitive motions
that would not result in undue stress or harm if only performed once. Carpal tunnel
syndrome, Tendonitis, Tenosynovitis, DeQuarvain's Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, many
back injuries, and several other conditions may result from repetitive motions.
factors could include such things as indoor air quality or excessive
noise. "Sick building syndrome," with its accompanying headaches,
congestion, fatigue and even rashes, can result from poor air quality in a building or
office. Excessive noise around heavy machinery or equipment can cause permanent hearing
loss. Improper lighting can cause eyestrain and headaches, especially in
conjunction with a computer monitor.
is important to listen to the signals your body gives you. If you suffer pain in the
wrists or hands after a long day of typing, examine your work area and work practices to
see if they may be causing the problems. Learn to make adjustments. Raise or lower chairs
to avoid typing with your wrists at an odd angle. Adjust computer monitors to avoid glare.
Take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks to give your body a rest. Always use proper
lifting techniques. Sometimes small modifications to work procedures, posture, habits,
and/or work station design can make a big difference in the way you feel at the end of a
Cumulative Trauma Disorders