Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the science of ensuring the body is working in a position that is healthy. Physiotherapists are often hired by companies to consult on injury prevention, ergonomic assessment and treatment in the workplace.

Sitting for long hours at a desk can add stress on the body and result in pain. Many people spend the balance of their working day in front of a computer. This position causes muscles to fatigue and posture becomes slumped or rounded. Over time, back, neck and shoulder pain can develop. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common injury that results from working in a non-ergonomic position. People who spend much of the day typing in an improper position can develop pain and damage in the wrists.

Ergonomic re-education involves a complete assessment of the workplace, equipment, tools and tasks by a qualified physiotherapist. After thorough assessment and consultation with employees, the physiotherapist will provide recommendations identifying risk factors in the workplace, how to reduce them, modifications to the workplace design and tools, and plans to accommodate disabilities, and treat existing injuries. &

    • Ergonomic assessment and re-education include the following:
    • Ergonomic engineering: redesigning the workspace to reduce physical stress
    • Exposure reduction: limiting the amount of time workers are exposed to unavoidable stress by changing physical position and movements or rotating tasks
    • Exercise: stretching muscles to relieve stress and prevent injury, particularly when physically stressful tasks are done repeatedly
    • Enforcement of preventative procedures or policies: for example, teaching proper lifting techniques
    • Education: understanding proper procedures

    Ergonomic re-education provides a healthy workplace with reduced injuries, improved employee attendance and understanding of safe work practices.

    Employees also see a benefit in reduced Workers’ Compensation claims.

    For more information on providing a safer and efficient work environment, contact a qualified physiotherapist.

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Specific Techniques

Practitioners

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