Self Care Ergonomics

1. Intervene before it becomes a pain:

Be mindful of the “warning lights” of musculoskeletal problems, such as discomfort, pain, numbness, tingling, reduced mobility, or swelling.

Musculoskeletal injuries can quickly escalate to major problems that influence other areas of our life.

Getting help on (supervisor, safety) or off the job (family physician, physical therapist), will help you keep your body on the road!

2. Microbreaks

Take short and frequent breaks before fatigue builds up to the point where you have to take a break due to fatigue or discomfort. Even breaks as short as 10 seconds allow your muscles time to recover.

Think of working out at the gym, when you need to take quick breaks between sets.

When somebody pushes through a break, it is not uncommon to see congratulations from coworkers, who admire the work ethic. However, if you truly value safety, respect your own physical limits and allow time for your body to recover while you are on the job.

3. Warmups

In most organized sports, the first thing everyone does is warm-up, then a few drills and then they play the game.

Warm-ups are a great way to get the blood flowing and remind our body that it is time to get moving.

Doing exercises, drills or movement patterns specific to your sport or work (e.g., squats) are a great way to remind your body how to move safely.

Is your body work-ready, or are you on thin ice?


4. Exercise your brain!

Brain warm ups can be just as important as physical warm ups.

  • Do you know what you are supposed to do, or should you get clarification to avoid unnecessary steps?
  • Do you have all of the tools where you need them, or do you need to bring them closer?
  • Can you get any objects out of your way to make the job simpler?

There is always a simpler way! Remember to find ways to raise your work to a more comfortable level, or use objects such as lifts or carts to save yourself the strain! Keep your brain muscle working!