10:57 am December 18, 2018

Holiday Craziness?
Ergonomics is Not Only for the Workplace

Source: Kristen Cederlind

If you thought “ergonomics” was just for the workplace, think again! Life can be full of hazards, and the holiday season is no exception. Here are some tips to make your holidays healthier…and safer. After all, giving should feel good, right? The key is to minimize or eliminate risk factors in order to prevent injury.

Repetitive Motion – Is there anything more repetitive than wrapping an incessant amount of presents? All that cutting and folding and taping… Solutions? That’s easy!

  • Don’t buy so many presents! It will be good for your hands, and has a side benefit of being good for your pocketbook too.
  • Use gift bags (best invention ever!).
  • If you are going to wrap everything with good ol’ fashioned wrapping paper, just make sure to break up the task by taking mini-stretch breaks.

Lifting – With the advent of flat screen TVs and paper thin tablets, it’s probably not as bad now as it used to be. But lifting is still a risk factor. Solutions?

  • Gift cards, of course! They’re lightweight and easily portable.
  • If you are going to be transporting large gifts, do make sure to lift safely – lift with your legs and keep the packages close to your body. Get help if it they are too heavy!

Contact Stress – There was plenty of contact stress on Black Friday. Crowds of people swarming through the doors of Big Box stores? That represents both “contact” and “stress”. Solutions?

  • Avoid Big Box stores
  • Shop online!
  • While using your computer, though, make sure to avoid continuously leaning your forearms on the edge of the desk, which can cause compression that impedes blood supply and nerve conduction.

Awkward Positions – Clark Griswold may have made it look fun to fall off of a ladder while decorating his house. That 10-foot Christmas tree might look fantastic, but you’re sure going to have to reach pretty far to put the star way up on top! Solutions?

  • Buy a shorter tree!
  • Watch “Christmas Vacation” or “Home Alone 2 – Lost in New York” to learn all about what NOT to do during the holidays.
  • Or, use step stools or ladders to avoid extended reaches. Position yourself so your work is within easy arm’s reach.

Static Postures – Are you standing in long lines at the mall? Holding mounds of packages? Cooking a huge holiday feast? Have I got some solutions for you!

  • Skip the shopping altogether and plan for McDonald’s Happy Meals on Christmas Day. The kids will understand, right? ….Wrong!!!…
  • Vary your positions and activities (alternate sitting and standing).
  • Roll your shoulders backward and forward and take a few deep breaths.

The holidays may be good for the heart, but can also be hard on your body. You need to take care of yourself. Be sure to allow time to simply relax and enjoy. We had some fun with this article, but we are highly committed to ergonomics as a critical program to take care of employees and prevent injuries. For more information, contact WorkWell today.

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