Our first snow fall has come and gone in Winnipeg, unfortunately for those who lost their hydro in the first blizzard of this winter season in Manitoba, it dragged on for 4-6 days. Sounds like our garbage collection woes this October, as Winnipeg introduces the automated, curbside, private company collection, not to mention a shortage of paper bags to dispose of the fall leaves. Snow, garbage, raking leaves, the dreaded fall cleanup can all lead to acute, or even chronic back injuries.
My ergonomic tip for you this fall season; switch the way you do things, especially those repetitive tasks, the raking, the shovelling, switch direction, go from right to left and vice versa. Avoid the pitfalls of the weekend warm winds, get it done, but pace your work and enjoy the time outdoors, stretch occasionally; hands on your hips, bend backwards comfortably and repeat.
Next, we’ll talk about whiplash injuries; what to expect from MPI and driving ergonomics for the ice n snow of winter.
Whether it be at work, rest or play; a candy bar cannot make that pain go away…but your ergonomics at the workstation, at home or doing any activity can make a significant difference to your health.
We can often find those simple modifications, those easy answers to perform a task easier, and safer. The problem is that many of us do not take the time to change our habits, make changes and implement them consistently at our busiest work areas…the kitchen, in this case. The ‘pant hangar’ keeps the recipe near eye level, there is no awkward posture to maintain and the cabinet can even be accessed quite easily, well done!
This concept always applies to those that must ‘sit for a living’, the ‘desk jockeys’ of the finance, legal, grain and media industries here in Downtown Winnipeg. Like a ‘whiplash’, those muscle aches can proliferate throughout the upper back and neck.
Such that, you must remember to adjust your computer monitor height; use some yellow pages or photocopy paper bundles. Some recent ergonomic assessments have resulted in 8-10 inches of monitor height changes to accommodate the individual’s line of sight. Your eye level should be equal to that of the curser start position, in the most frequently used software program. This position allows the eye to adjust to a variability of 2-3 inches of text/toolbar and decreases or eliminates the chronic forward head posture.
Let your human resource department or health & safety manager know that I am available for any size group education, assessments and ergonomic design.
Really…too many media driven articles on sitting as a disease”…since 1991, it’s been a necessary evil of our increasingly computer driven ergonomics at work, rest and play; the desktop, the laptop, the smartphone, the tablet, next?
But then why are exercise plans so quick to add the situp? or bench press? or knee extension? All of these place our biomechanics, our posture into greater flexion! Beware, add more extension exercises now! add those planks!
Give yourself more reasons to stand…even every 12 minutes is ideal. If you cannot figure it out, give me a call…your ergonomics may be your disease…and you are not retiring anytime soon.