Friday, September 10, 2010

Hi everybody,

My pet subject these days is ergonomic everything.

What exactly is ergonomics? Simply put, it is the study of how our bodies interact with everyday objects. It's way more involved than I'm making it sound. It is a form of human engineering, whereby ergonomic experts help to determine a good method to perform certain repetitive tasks in order to avoid fatigue and stress to muscles and tendons. If ignored, this repetitive stress could eventually lead to serious and permanent physical damage. And who needs that?

I used to take my body totally for granted. I piled abuse upon more abuse. I am a designer, who spent years slumped over a drawing table. It put terrible strain on my lower back. I was always hurting... always at my chiropractor's office.  For some reason, it just didn't dawn on me that what I was doing was physically stressful. Heck, I was mostly standing still. My work, according to my own thoughts about it, was sedentary. Well, it was sort've sedentary. But when you perform an action repetitively, and without giving your body any relief, then your body is going to rebel and talk back to you. You may as well hurdle fences, and that's probably better for you.

One of the ways I handled my dilemma was I purchased a kneeler (kneeling chair). If you are familiar with these chairs, they are great at taking the strain away from your lower back. Even your knees are in good stead, because your weight is distributed in such a way, that nothing gets the stress. You're "leaning" against the seat instead of sitting on it.  The kneeling chair is an example of an ergonomically designed piece of furniture. It was worth every penny. It kept me out of pain and kept me working and out of traction too.

Ergonomic furniture, such as chairs, desks, tables, and computer equipment have been designed to ensure that a person who is sitting or standing constantly, is in proper alignment. No undue stress on any part of your body. The chair would offer adjustable armrests, and an adjustable backrest, upper and lower.  The idea is that the chair can be adjusted to accommodate the individual's size and height, and will help to maintain proper posture.

Now we come to the stress of working long hours at a computer, something else that I have personally experienced. I have been non-stop working at Internet Marketing, mostly reading and writing, which keeps me glued to that little screen for hours on end. I woke up one morning in such pain, that I was convinced I had a rare disease. See if this sounds familiar to you: PAINFUL burning sensation across my collar bone and upper chest, going into the neck and shoulders, front and back. One shoulder was higher than the other. I was in spasm.  I couldn't even raise my body out of bed without moaning. Anyone who has experienced muscle spasms and pinched nerves knows how painful it is. It's horrible! I own a chair that I thought was pretty good, although it doesn't claim to be ergonomically engineered. It's just plain cozy. Well, big deal. I need to purchase a really great ergonomically designed chair, such as the Aeron chair. If I'm going to work so hard, so many long hours, don't I deserve a piece of furniture that will preserve my health? I thought you would agree.

Folks, this is so important to become aware of because so many of us are working from home now, and probably at a computer. People who work in any kind of office need to protect their bodies and health. Because of all the pain I have experienced, I am making a study of ergonomics and will bring the fruits of my labor to you in the form of articles, and the fruits of my research in the form of actual ergonomic furniture that will be offered at Shopsicle. As a matter of fact, we are doing a Shopsicle "spin-off" that is totally devoted to everything ergonomic. Feel free to offer your advice and any aspects of ergonomics that you would like me to research for you. I know you're all pretty smart, and probably have thoughts you'd like to share with me. 

Meanwhile, you can help yourself by eating well, getting plenty of rest, ha ha, getting plenty of the B vitamins, especially B12, and taking breaks often. Do shoulder rolls, do the executive stretch ( clasp your hands behind your head and carefully stretch your elbows back while taking a deep breath). Don't forget to protect your eyes. Blink, yawn, rub your hands together briskly to get some friction that will warm your hands, then gently place your palms one over each eye. It's very soothing.

Watch for my articles. Check out our ergonomic offerings at Shopsicle under "Home Accents/ Home Office". Homepage. www.shopsicle.com.

Have a pain free day!

Cheers, Joan

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suffer from the same thing. It's awful.Definitely need to do something. Thanks for sharing.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work at a computer too and have carpal tunnel. Doctors suggest operating, but I'm going the ergonomic mouse pad wrist support way first. Thanks for the heads up.

6:29 AM  
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