Have you ever thought about fitness and ergonomics in the same train of thought? Maybe not, but there are lots of reasons why a person should! According to Dictionary.com, ergonomics is “the study of the relationship between workers and their environment, esp the equipment they use…” (“The Definition”). The right equipment is integral when performing everyday tasks, not only when at the office, but when exercising as well.
The 8 Hour Workday Can Be Hazardous
Most people these days have developed bad habits during their traditional 8 hour workday. These habits can eventually affect the quality of movement when engaging in other activities. For instance, jamming the hands, wrists, and forearms into unnatural positions while typing and mousing on traditional non-ergonomic equipment can put undue stress on the entire upper body, including the neck, shoulders, and cranial muscles. Imagine trying to pump some iron with sore, inflamed, and vulnerable wrists caused by repetitive strain, mechanical pressure, or radial and/or ulnar deviation. Don’t be surprised if those puppies feel like they could just snap right off. Or imagine shooting some hoops with sore forearms and a sore neck. You might be thinking to yourself, “I’ve had enough for today.” Or even imagine playing tennis with the sharp whipping of your racket and needed head movements — “Let’s not and say we did.”
The habits performed for the majority of the day are going to outweigh the 30 minutes to an hour spent exercising. Proper positioning is imperative when performing everyday tasks to prevent injury down the line.
Are You Using the Right Equipment?
Just like athletes need to make sure they have the proper form when running, squatting, lunging, planking, using gym equipment, and virtually any other exercise to avoid injury – the same is true of the office workstation. Some gym equipment that is designed with ergonomics in mind are: kettlebells, stationary bikes, treadmills, different ab rollers with ergonomic grips, equipment with an ergonomically designed seat or back support, and grappling gloves. This equipment is designed to properly fit the user, rather than having to adjust to fit the equipment. That’s how it should be, right? Right!
Are You Maintaining the Proper Form?
Don’t let cumulative bad habits throughout the day overshadow the hard work put in at the gym. Maintain proper form and positioning when typing and clicking. This means your arms are at your sides, and you have the proper wrist angle. The quickest way to find the perfect wrist angle is to extend both arms out in front of you, so they are parallel with each other. Now, make fists with your hands. And finally, slowly relax the hands and bring your elbows comfortably to your sides. You will find as you make this movement that your wrists naturally form an angle, which is the exact position your keyboard should be tented and splayed to mimic.
Fitness and Ergonomics are Lifestyle Choices
All in all, fitness and ergonomics go hand in hand. Both require proper form, and if form suffers at the office, it increases the risk of injury when at the gym (or wherever). Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t happen overnight because it is a gradual process to allow the body to adapt to something it isn’t used to. Just like eating healthy and exercising, ergonomics is a lifestyle, and it is important for the future well-being of the body. Take a look at our store and find the ergonomic desktop equipment that is right for you — your body will thank you.
“The Definition of Ergonomics.” Dictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.