May 15

Desk Ergonomics and Why it should mean something to you.

Webster’s Dictionary defines ergonomics as…………..No we won’t be going down that old road.Ergonomics is, however, a branch of science dealing with the office environment and how we as humans interact with that environment. How our body can distribute the workload in the way that it was engineered to be distributed. For example, holding your head up in an upright position can be done numerous ways, but there is an “optimal position/mechanism”.Let’s take a look at some stats to get us started and get you in the right frame of mind. The average adult sits between 50-70% of the workday. If you are reading this most likely, that means you. That is a staggering amount of time in one position with little or no movement. The average professional gamer is playing between 8-12 hours a day and 5+ days a week.If you make your living at a desk, I can not stress the importance of proper posture and ergonomics enough. Every facet of the work day and your overall well being can benefit from ergonomics. Here’s how:Decrease amount of injuries- If you are sitting correctly and loading the weight bearing structures in the proper way you will naturally have a decreased amount of injuries. Think of it as if you were a 10-pound weight with your arm extending or with it close to your chest. It’s much easier to hold that weight closer to your centerline rather than outstretched.Increase productivity- By having a decrease in pain experienced throughout the day you can work longer and more efficiently. Now, I want to stress that this doesn’t mean to push yourself past your normal limits. You need to intermittently take a mental “systems check” every 30 minutes to make sure everything is okay.Decrease amount of work, practice, or tournaments missed-With increased productivity and a decrease in pain throughout the day you will be able to take less time off for injuries. This, in turn, means a more significant amount of time you can use for taking actual days off for vacations or overall rest. Esports players will be able to make more tournaments, which in turn means more potential for making money.Increase in overall happiness- The three points above snowball into this fourth point of an increase in overall happiness. Chronic pain is known to correlate with an increase in rates of depression, which makes sense considering that when you are in pain, you usually don’t feel like a ball of sunshine. The increase in happiness not only increases your productivity at work but translates into a more positive you outside the workplace.There are other numerous reasons that proper posture while at your desk is crucial, but I think these are the main four to focus on. I hope I hammered in the point that a happy body, in turn, makes you a happy person. A happy you is a better you (that should be in a fortune cookie).In the next couple posts, I plan to break down each aspect of the workstation, how you can improve your current setup, and give some suggestions on products that might be right for you. Many other posts I’ve seen throughout the internet try to knock out every aspect in one post. I want to break it down a little more, so it’s more digestible for the casual reader.Dr. Drew FTW!

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