Ergonomics at work…
Is it necessary?
Sedentary work is a whole new world for humans, something for which evolution has not prepared us. Just 200 years ago, most professions involved some kind of physical activity and continuous movement. Working in front of a computer has imposed an unnatural position on us. Despite a number of guidelines about how to adapt work stations to minimise the negative effects of sedentary lifestyle, the majority of people do not follow them. Problems with muscular and skeletal systems resulting directly from use of poor positions affect 35% of people who work using a computer. Sitting in a poor position can lead to numerous pains in different parts of the body, from the neck to the knees and calves; they can also lead to problems with concentration or even result in frustration.
Ergonomics lays the foundations for the creation of an optimum working environment, to tailor it to the physical and mental capabilities of people to the greatest extent and to minimise its impact on health. Ergonomics aims to ensure not only a safe and healthy work place, but also a comfortable one.
Nowadays, many professions require people to work in offices, sitting at desks in front of computers. In this respect ergonomics has an important task to fulfill. The screen that we daily stare at, the computer mouse under hand and above all the chair on which we sit long hours ... Each element of our surroundings should be designed and adapted to the unique physical features and needs of an individual. This applies especially to the unique parameters of the human body and mind. All this needs to be done to reduce the burden of sitting at the desk for many hours and ensure that an 8-hour working day is creative and effective.
Healthy work place at home
The emergence of an information society, which could be attributed to technology, allows more and more people to use the possibility to perform different tasks outside the traditional workplace. Telework has now become the best alternative for new mothers, the handicapped as well as people who find it difficult to commute to work. The results of performed work are sent electronically. Yet, even at home, one's place of work needs to be functional. Therefore, to prevent back pain or eyesight deterioration one needs a proper desk, lighting and primarily a comfortable chair on which one spends many hours each day.
According to studies conducted by the Institute of Industrial Design, the most natural position assumed by an individual is a position in which there is an angle of around 135 degrees between the line of the spine and the femoral bone. Such a position is assumed by astronauts in the state of zero gravity as well as persons submerged in water. By applying the principles of ergonomics or investing in modern seats which allow us to work dynamically we can prevent problems occurring after many hours in front of a computer. This will not only enhance our comfort but it will also lead to increased efficiency.