Embracing Ergonomics for Aging Bodies
Comfort and Safety
In the most general of terms, ergonomics is the practice of assessing and/or designing an environment for optimal comfort, safety, efficiency, and productivity. Don’t we all deserve such comfort and safety? I believe so!
When you are hunched over your laptop or placing heavy boxes onto a high shelf or lifting young children/grandchildren with a bent back and straight knees, the ergonomic gods are frowning and sad. When you don’t have to “crane” your neck forward to see your computer screen or you place heavier boxes on shelves from thigh to chest level or you have proper lighting in a room to see where you are walking so that you do not fall, the ergonomic gods are smiling and dancing in delight.
Preventing Injury, Chronic Pain and Discomfort
Regardless of if you continue to be in a work environment for most of your day or you are retired, the use of ergonomic principles is one of many essential tools for maintaining your overall wellness. Ergonomic principles include but are not restricted to reducing awkward postures, reducing forces to the body, decreasing repetition, and providing adequate lighting to see one’s environment. This can translate into raising your computer monitor so that your neck is not bent forward in an awkward posture when viewing the screen, dividing the contents of one heavy box into several boxes so that you do not have to carry as much in one lift, or crocheting/knitting for 20 minutes at a time instead of two hours at a time to reduce the repetitive motions in the arms.
Aging Smart with Ergonomic Services
As we age, it is even more imperative to use the wisdom of such ergonomic principles to help keep our bodies free from injury and pain. The physical and cognitive changes that slowly occur with aging, both at work and home, can affect safety and increase risk for injury. As we get older, our endurance decreases, our muscle mass decreases, joint degeneration increases, flexibility decreases, and visual abilities decline. The use of ergonomic principles for all age groups, including seniors, has been shown to reduce the risk and severity of injuries and aches and pains, both for chronic and acute conditions.
In addition to the excellent exercise training and physical therapy services that we offer, we also provide ergonomic services for boomers or seniors in their home, office, or work environment to assess, design, and make recommendations to reduce and minimize chances of injury and stress to the body.
Gives us a call when you would like further information about this service or would like an ergonomic assessment performed. Be well!