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5 Most Common Ergonomic Issues & Solutions for Them

30 April 2021

If you continue to carry on with your uncomfortable office setup at home, you might be closer to experiencing work-related health issues. This is not something to take lightly. It might be fun and relaxing to work on the living room floor or maybe while lying on your bed. Despite that "comfort," you might be doing more harm than good.

You are usually confined to a single position for a long time. It even leads to you being often confronted with painful or unpleasant ergonomic problems. Any of these are caused by bad posture, insufficient facilities, a poorly built workspace, and so on.

Whatever the explanation, ergonomic issues can never be overlooked because they can have long-term consequences for the workers who deal with them. How do you spot these problems and what do you do about them? Through this article, you are comprehensively given a guide in identifying and resolving them.

The Importance of Office Ergonomics

A healthy work environment is a positive work environment. When ergonomics is considered, you can perform better and strive to work harder to accomplish your job responsibilities. Back in the office, there are safety protocols set to protect employees, facilities, and business property regardless of the form or size of the company. 

The same things apply when you are working from home. Home office ergonomics can significantly increase your performance and may even improve your motivation as a career-driven professional.

Another thing that can be reduced when ergonomics is applied is the risk for injuries. Ergonomic accidents can occur in any industry, but some occupations are more at risk than others. The first step in preventing such work-related medical problems is to be well-informed about the different types of ergonomic concerns and their causes.

The Five Ergonomics Issues You Should Know About

Regardless of the nature of your work, early intervention practices can be used to resolve certain common ergonomic issues and avoid injuries from happening in the first place. Of course, you never want to have to live with the consequences of poor workplace ergonomics. 

Nonetheless, there are specific issues that need to be addressed so that people understand what they can do to make their work environments more pleasant and safe. Here are five of the most common ergonomic issues, as well as ways to fix them.

1. Failure to operate in a neutral position to support good posture.

When we operate in a neutral role, our bodies perform best. The neutral position is simply a relaxing position in which all of your joints are aligned. When you function in neutral, your muscles, tendons, and skeletal system are under less tension, lowering your risk of musculoskeletal injury.

What You Should Do: Make an “L” shape with your body.

You want to keep the body lengthened and aligned to run in neutral. You do this by forming an “L” shape with your body. Proper alignment comes from proper spine elongation. You can do this through four steps:

  • Maintain a straight line between your shoulders and your head, with no tilting forward, backward, or to the left.

  • Hips should be slightly higher than knees, creating a 110-degree angle. This will relieve the strain on your bones.

  • To help your upper body, bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. When seated, your knees should be 2”-3” away from the front of your chair.

  • Make sure your feet are flat on the concrete. If your chair is too high, try adjusting it lower. If your shoes aren't flexible, put your feet on a flat stole.

2. You keep on doing repetitive motions.

A large percentage of work-related injuries develop over time as a result of continuous, repeated movements. Typing to answering the phone are examples of repeated movements. Such movements do not normally cause strain on their own, but the repeated use of muscles to perform the same action over time may cause tension and pain in the musculoskeletal system.

What You Can Do: Every hour, switch tasks.

When it comes to avoiding repetitive motion injuries, a good guideline to follow is to move activities regularly so that you are using a different muscle group at the end of each hour. This will allow your muscles to heal while you continue to function. Staff can also make use of any ergonomic resources that are available to them. Adjustable seats, monitor stands, and headphones are only a few of the tools that can be quickly incorporated into a workplace to reduce the risk of repetitive motion injury.

3. You do not keep an eye on your positioning.

When an individual deviates significantly from a neutral position while performing tasks, this is referred to as awkward positioning. Musculoskeletal injury may result from increased force and decreased performance. Bending, reaching, raising, and twisting are several examples of inconvenient positions.

What You Can Do: Keep a close eye on what you're working on.

It's important to keep whatever you're working on close to you to avoid uncomfortable positions. Try to keep anything within arm's reach in particular. Since you won't have to reach, twist, or bend to get to your job, your body will be closer to neutral. If you're working on a fixed object that can't be pushed closer to you, keep an eye on your location and acknowledge any discomfort that arises. Breaks, changing positions, and stretching stiff muscles are all good things to do.

4. You remain stationary for long hours in the same place.

Researchers say that a worker's chances of developing a musculoskeletal injury increase when the body is in a stagnant condition for an extended time. Extended sitting can cause chronic life-altering injuries such as obesity and type-2 diabetes, in addition to musculoskeletal injuries.

What You Can Do: If you can and you are willing, for every 30 minutes, try and get up.

According to studies, a person should get up and walk after 30 minutes of sitting. Doing this not only lowers the risk of musculoskeletal injury but also lowers the risk of early mortality. Here are some ideas for movement:

  • Try to walk around and do some household chores like sweeping.

  • Every time you drink water, get up and stretch.

  • If you want a snack after accomplishing a task, walk or jog to and from your fridge

5. You do not take a break from your screen.

Visual exhaustion is caused by long hours of radiation and screen exposure. This is one of the most prevalent ergonomic problems in the workplace. It usually happens when performing long-term tasks that require constant visual attention. As a result, some of your eye muscles begin to contract, making you feel uncomfortable. 

You might find that your vision starts to blur or that you start getting headaches regularly. Visual fatigue is most likely the cause of these symptoms if you spend a significant portion of your day looking at screens. It occurs more often in people who use multiple monitors.

What You Can Do: Do the 20-20-20 method to get your eyes off the screen. 

This is where you stare at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds and you do it again after 20 minutes. 

Final Thoughts

Ergonomics should have a part in your home office setup. If you are overwhelmed and lost as to what you should do first to apply ergonomics in your work experience, FlexiSpot has that aspect covered for you. If you need an ergonomic office chair, a desk bike, a height-adjustable standing desk, or a monitor stand, they have the right products for all your needs. 

The bottom line is that you should be able to listen to your body. With that as your baseline, you can tailor your workstation to your needs. You should aim not to cause any harm to your body so that you can be the best that you can be as a work-from-home professional.