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What Are Ergonomics?

Due to the new reality surrounding COVID-19, more people than ever have started to call their office home. Knowing this, it is important that individuals working from home understand the importance of proper ergonomics and good body mechanics. Ergonomics is the study and practice of improving the way people move and function within their daily life. Emphasis is placed on maximizing efficiency and safety through the use of certain tools or body mechanic strategies, and identifying how certain factors may be contributing to injury. Anyone who spends time at a desk, on the phone, or on a computer can benefit from an ergonomic consultation. You do not have to wait for pain or discomfort to make changes!

How Physical Therapy Can Help?

Physical therapists are trained in ergonomics teaching as a means to help people with injury prevention and resolution. Both the tools used in your home or workplace (everything from your chair to your car to your computer to industry-specific machinery), as well as the way you use these tools are subject to study and modification. During an evaluation, our therapists will thoroughly evaluate your body, your current and past medical history, and your home and/or work environment. You will be asked about the set-up of your desk or office, the type of tools and equipment you use, the expectations and demands of your job, and a summary of your typical day. Based on all this information, your therapist will educate you on certain strategies that can help you manage your health better in your environment. When it comes to ergonomics, our focus is on improving posture, energy efficiency, and body mechanics (the way you move), as well as making necessary adjustments, modifications, and changes to reduce and prevent further pain and injury. Your physical therapist may recommend adjusting the position of your computer monitor, for example, or teach you how to implement a more frequent rest break policy so that you are not sitting at your desk all day. Your therapist may also recommend specialized devices or equipment modifications, such as splints or wrist supports, that can help you perform your typical work duties with greater physical safety and comfort. In addition to ergonomics training, you will also be provided with other physical therapy services to address your symptoms, including therapeutic exercises, joint mobilizations, and modalities such as electrical stimulation or ultrasound in order to restore function to full pain-free independence.

Simply treating the signs and symptoms of an injury will not necessarily prevent the injury from recurring again and again, at least not until the factors leading to the issue are identified and addressed. This is why an ergonomics evaluation is so critical for both symptom resolution and injury prevention.

If you are interested in an ergonomics evaluation, please feel free to call or contact us today. Our team is made up of enthusiastic, hands-on providers who offer a comprehensive range of services. We look forward to giving you the care you deserve.