A good ergonomics program should be the cornerstone of your self-care program

The harmful effects related to sitting in front of a computer all day often go unnoticed until many years later. Most of the Work-Related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) take time to develop, and when they do, they can take a lot of time to treat properly. As with most things, prevention is better than a cure. However, the problem with not understanding proper workstation ergonomics, is that many people do not know what to look for. Do you notice the strain or tension in your neck? Do you notice how you have been sitting with a slumped posture and forward head? You might simply attribute that achy discomfort to getting older. The truth is, our bodies are not designed to sit in constricted positions staring at a computer screen all day. Thus we slouch, push our heads forward, and look closely at the screen simply because it feels more comfortable that way. We are able to deal with it from day to day. Until we can’t. What was once a strain or mild ache is now pain and it can lead to huge medical bills.

According to Safe Work Australia, the total economic cost of work-related injuries and illnesses is estimated to be $60 billion dollars. Recent research has shown that lower back pain is the world’s most common work-related disability – affecting employees from offices, building sites and in the highest risk category, agriculture.

By learning and applying proper ergonomics, you will minimize the risks associated with prolonged sitting at a computer workstation all day and reduce your chances of developing repetitive strain injuries, and reduce future medical expenses. In addition to better health, you will also become more effective and productive, and find working a more enjoyable experience.