“Ergonomics. In essence, it is the study of designing equipment, devices and processes that fit the human body and its cognitive abilities.” Wikipedia.
Ergonomics is incredibly important. Ergonomic equipment is designed with the human body in mind. It’s designed so that the human body can effectively use it. It helps us work for longer without discomfort. It helps companies get the most out of us whilst we are using the equipment.
BUT… (and yes that’s a big BUT!) … the human body is not designed to repetitively be in any one position or do any one singular movement. We are designed to move. We are designed for variety. And we need that movement and variety so we can thrive, remain pain free and continue to be prodctive at our ergonomic equipment.
So, what does that mean? Should we ditch all our expensive ergonomic stuff? No, not at all. Ergonomic equipment is great, but we have to use it well too. We have to break up our working time with micro movement breaks (eg rolling your shoulders or reaching for the ceiling every 20 mins). We have to be smart about what equipment we use and where. Can you stand for meetings thus taking a break from your ergonomic chair? Can you use paper and pen for certain tasks thus giving your ergonmic keyboard a break? Can you use a touch screen rather than a mouse for a few tasks? All these things add up and they all matter.
Ergonomic equipment is fantastic, but it’s just part of the puzzle that makes up effective, productive and pain free working.