At Rejuv Medical, we see a lot of patients with aches and pains – and you might be surprised to learn that many of them stem from something as simple as bad posture and repetitive motions at home. That’s where ergonomics comes in!

Ergonomics is the study of designing the workplace to fit the worker. But here’s the thing: ergonomics isn’t just for cubicles and computer chairs. It’s about creating an environment that supports your body throughout the day, at work and at home.

The Office Setup

Let’s start with the typical office setup. Many of us spend hours seated at a desk, staring at a computer screen. Without proper ergonomics, this sedentary lifestyle can lead to a host of issues, including back pain, neck strain, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. Here are some tips to optimize your office ergonomics:

  • Chair: Invest in a high-quality ergonomic chair that supports your lower back and promotes good posture. Your feet should rest comfortably on the floor, and your knees should be at a 90-degree angle. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground.
  • Desk: Your desk should be at a height that allows your arms to rest comfortably while typing, elbows should be bent 90 degrees. Consider using a keyboard tray if your desk is too high.
  • Monitor: Position your monitor at eye level to reduce neck strain; in general, your eyes should be at the top 1/3 of the computer screen. Keep it an arm’s length away from you to prevent eye fatigue.
  • Keyboard and Mouse: Your keyboard and mouse should be at the same level and within easy reach. Avoid resting your wrists on hard surfaces to prevent wrist pain.
  • Take Breaks: Remember to take regular breaks to stretch and move around. Sitting for prolonged periods can contribute to muscle stiffness and decreased circulation. Set  timer on your outlook calendar or phone for every 30 minutes with a reminder for “Good Posture!”

The At-Home Grind:

Now that we’ve covered your office ergonomics, let’s take a deep dive into your typical home tasks and see how some ergonomic tweaks can make a big difference:

  • Dishes:
    • Posture is key: Ditch the hunched-over posture that can strain your neck and back. Stand with one foot slightly forward for stability and core engagement. This distributes your weight more evenly.
    • Brush it off: Invest in a long-handled dishwashing brush to avoid putting strain on your back by reaching too far.
    • Dry efficiently: Consider a drying rack that elevates dishes so you don’t have to bend over to towel dry.
  • Laundry Day:
    • Lighten the load: Lugging that heavy laundry basket can wreak havoc on your back. Invest in a rolling hamper or split heavy loads into multiple trips with a lighter basket.
    • Folding finesse: When folding clothes, avoid perching on the edge of the counter or table, which can strain your back. Sit in a chair with good back support and keep your elbows at a comfortable height on a table or the surface you’re folding on.
    • Wrist care: Take breaks to stretch your wrists and hands, especially if you’re folding clothes for extended periods.

Bonus Tip: If you find yourself spending a lot of time on your feet in the morning doing chores, consider an anti-fatigue mat in the kitchen or laundry room. These provide cushioning and support to prevent discomfort in your legs and back.

By incorporating these ergonomic principles into your daily routine, you can set the stage for a pain-free and productive day. Remember, ergonomics isn’t about a complete overhaul of your life. It’s about making small changes that can have a big impact on your long-term health and well-being.