The neck is one of the most commonly targeted areas for office ergonomic interventions across the globe as it is susceptible to pain and soreness from a variety of sources. In a study of over 600 European office workers, it was found that 56.1% of all the participants had some level of neck pain.1
However, not all of the factors related to the neck actually lead to neck pain! According to a research study lead by Venerina Johnson, a premier researcher at Queensland University in Australia, there are specific key causes of most neck pain, and many of these causes only lead to significant pain in combination with other factors.2
First, a variety of factors associated with the individual can lead to neck pain. Individual factors are characteristics of a specific person which might impact neck pain in either a positive or negative way. These factors are extremely...
The knee is an extremely unique and versatile joint in the body. Because of this, there are many potential injuries that can arise throughout a range of different postures. For example, excessive kneeling can lead to bursitis, an inflammation of the tissue that lubricates the knee1. Ligament sprains and muscle strains can occur with excessive twisting or poor posture in movements with high forces2. Chronic malalignment of the knee can also lead to patellofemoral pain, tendinitis, and osteoarthritis, which cause pain with knee movements3. Sudden impacts on the knee can lead to fractures or dislocations depending on the direction of the impact1. These are only a few of the common injuries that can impact the knee and its surrounding tissues.
These knee injuries commonly occur in the workplace, when demands are placed on workers that predispose them to injury. According to the workplace safety...
CRE-MSD (2020) has noted that shoulder injuries have the longest recovery time compared to other body parts.
To prevent injuries of the shoulder it is important to know the correct and incorrect postures of the shoulders. Correct posture of the shoulders is the shoulders square and level, and they are relaxed and pulled back. We also want to know the incorrect postures of the shoulder so that we can avoid these postures, which are the shoulders rounded with the palms of the hands facing forward.
Some ways to minimize the risk of shoulder injuries when working include:
When reaching for objects we want to avoid horizontal reaches away from the body as much as possible, as this can cause excess strain on the shoulders and lead to injuries. However, if we do need to engage in this...
Injuries of the lower back can be extremely debilitating and are common in many different workplaces. Although the symptoms of lower back pain across many scenarios may be similar, the causes of low back pain are hard to identify and can be extremely varied. This is because there are many anatomical structures at risk in the lower back, including nerve roots, muscles, bones, and vertebral discs.1 These structures can be injured through a variety of movements, including heavy lifting, sudden impacts, repetitive bending or twisting, or poor posture in a seated or standing position.1
Because of the many potential mechanisms of injury, lower back pain is one of the most prevalent workplace injuries.2 According to the Ontario Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB), in 2019, the lower back was the most common site of injury in valid insurance claims, contributing to a...
What are musculoskeletal disorders?
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are injuries/disorders of muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and even nerves. Some well-known MSD are carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, tennis elbow, and trigger finger, although there are many more in addition to these.
The symptoms of MSD are dependent on the type and location of the injury. However, some common symptoms are pain in movement, swelling, reduced range of motion, stiffness, etc.
Some common hazards in the workplace that may cause a worker to develop MSD are,
Over time, these hazards may take a toll on the body and cause injury.
Quick fact: The most affected area regarding MSD is the low back. Some work-related factors that can cause this MSD are lifting with the spine flexed or twisted, repetitive lifting, and sitting or standing on vibrating platforms.
I've been working from my home office for many years, but usually I am out to employers and clients at least 3 days/ week. Now that I'll be working from home entirely for the next while, it's time to take my own ergonomic consulting advice. Here are some tips for considerations if you are working from home too.
1. Maintaining a work : life balance. Managing work, time & task requirements for productivity and separating work from your non-work life is important. A few things that help me stay focused and shift my mind are:
The Institute for Work and Health recently released an evidence based practical resource for assisting with the Return to Work process.
This quick 4 minute summary explains how workplaces can be prepared, and support their workers, and the process.
DOWNLOAD the RESOURCE: