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Ergonomics: the Way to a Safe and Healthy You

 

Everyone has the right to feel safe – at home, in public, and in the workplace. In order to educate the public about how to prevent injuries and death, the National Safety Council is observing National Safety Month this month. This week, they are focusing on injuries caused by bad ergonomics.

A few years ago, a doctor recommended that I go to occupational therapy in order to learn “good ergonomics”.  I was taught  how to properly sit at the computer, type, and write so that I don’t overexert myself and cause injury to my soft tissues.

Injuries that involve ergonomics can be caused by overexertion, repetitive motions, working in awkward positions, and temperature extremes, as well as a variety of other things. When an injury occurs caused by bad ergonomics, the signs include:

  •  Pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Tenderness
  • Clicking
  • Loss of grip strength

http://www.nsc.org/nsc_events/Nat_Safe_Month/Documents/2012_Ergonomicspublic.pdf

The best way to  prevent these  injuries is by staying aware of your body at work and at home. When working in an office setting remember to sit up straight and don’t stay in any one position for too long. If any of the symptoms start to surface, see a physician right away and get treatment as soon as possible to minimize any injury.

Taking care of our bodies is extremely important for a long and comfortable life. Taking steps as small as sitting up straight and watching how you type at a computer can make a huge difference to your health. After all, your body is your own, and taking care of it is the first step to feeling safe wherever you go.

Shannon Cook, AWP Intern

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