You’re only given one body in this lifetime. It should come with a giant tattoo that reads, “Please handle with care.” It’s crucial that we preserve our health by taking care of our bodies.
Most people want to make it to old age with flair. Retirement should be spent doing the activities you’ve grown to love. But did you know that many of our jobs and daily habits wreak havoc on our joints, back and nerves? Sitting is being referred to as the new smoking. Labor jobs could put you into early retirement. Don’t let making a living cost you the ability to live your life to the fullest.
Thankfully, there is a new movement driving change in this area.
The Ergonomic Movement
Finally, companies have started designing products to better-fit humans. Why it took so long, we will never know, but only good can come from optimizing design based on the way we use products.
Several different factors go into ergonomic design. The first priority is to improve safety. In fact, this was one of the initial motivators driving the ergonomic movement. You’ll find this in a variety of manufacturing and construction spaces. It started as a way to limit on-the-job injuries and it has expanded to include reducing long-term effects from jobs as well.
The other two factors that go into ergonomic design are increasing efficiency and improving practicality.
Stress, Strain & Overexertion
Repetitive motions can send you to an early grave, and if they don’t put you in the grave they could render you immobile in a chair.
While that might seem a little extreme, you get the idea. It’s not a pretty picture. Our bodies weren’t designed for a lot of the repetitive motions we do every day.
Here are a few examples from OSHA’s Ergonomic Study:
- Awkward postures, or unsupported positions that stretch physical limits, can compress nerves and irritate tendons;
- Static postures, or positions that a worker must hold for long periods of time, can restrict blood flow and damage muscles;
- Motion, such as increased speed or acceleration when bending and twisting, can increase the amount of force exerted on the body
- Compression, from grasping sharp edges like tool handles, can concentrate force on small areas of the body, reduce blood flow and nerve transmission, and damage tendons and tendon sheath.
Despite the negative impact, there are some motions we can’t do without. Integrating ergonomic practices and products will limit the effects of those motions.
Life & Work Longevity
Arthritis is crippling our aging population. With this in mind, why wouldn’t you want to adopt practices designed to limit the negative impact to your body?
By definition, ergonomic practices reduce stress on joints. Ergonomic practices produce a higher quality of life in the short term as well. We call that a win-win.
One of the most overlooked benefits of ergonomic practices is increased productivity.
For computer work, taking frequent micro breaks to stretch or walk leaves you energized. Once you hit that mid-afternoon slump, take a quick trip around the block. This will increase oxygen and boost circulation. Both are natural energy sources. Added benefit: it awakens stiff muscles and eases joints.
For manual labor, well-designed ergonomic tools require less effort to accomplish more work. Not only can you accomplish tasks faster, you have more energy at the end of a long day to live your life to its fullest.
The best news is that there are impressive ergonomic advancements being made every day. Just take shoveling for example. Although no one knows when the first shovel was created, there are archeological findings dating back to 12,000 years ago. Talk about ancient technology. The last time the shovel saw a good makeover was about 110 years ago. Frederick Winslow Taylor took a crack at shovel design by playing with different materials. A good redesign was long overdue.
Enter Bosse Tools, an innovator in ergonomic hardware tools. Our revolutionary shovel design promotes good posture, allows for a greater range of motion, and supports the wrist with a solid handle. We took an ancient art and modernized it for human use.