While we’re careful about what we eat and how much we sleep, sometimes we forget how important moving correctly is. As we get more active outdoors with friends and family, let’s take a moment to reflect on the importance of ergonomics—the science of human safety and capabilities—in our everyday lives.
The ways we sleep, sit, twist, bend, reach, and stand can all have lasting effects on the health of our bodies. If not practiced properly, repetitive actions can lead to overused muscles, poor posture, and eventually even injury. As we age, our muscle and bone mass naturally decrease, which can lead to stiff joints and limited mobility.
No matter what activities you’re doing, it’s important to make sure you’re safe and comfortable at all times. The following tips can provide a helpful starting point to assess your ergonomic safeguards.
- When sitting at a computer, make sure your feet are flat on the ground, your monitor is at eye level, and your wrists are flat and straight. And be sure to sit up straight.
- If you have to stay in one spot for a prolonged amount of time, don’t just sit—get up and walk around every hour to avoid slouching or slumping.
- Any time you must stand for long periods of time, be sure to wear supportive footwear to help maintain the body’s center of gravity and alignment of the spine.
- When lifting something from the ground, bend only at the knees and hips, keep the object close to your body, and avoid twisting while lifting.
- Get regular aerobic exercise—such as running, walking, or swimming—to help the muscles of the back stay strong and promote good posture.
By staying proactive and practicing proper posture in everyday activities, you can keep your body pain-free and healthy!