At this time of year particularly, many people are busier at work than usual preparing for year-end or preparing for the holiday season. This usually results in risk factors such as longer hours, less or shorter breaks, poorer food choices, and more stress-related tension. These risk factors on their own or combined can leave a person tired, irritated and in danger of developing aches and pains. At this time of year it is even more important to remember key ergonomic principles:
- Take 5-minute breaks every hour or 15-min breaks every 3 hours;
- Never skip your lunch break and have a healthy lunch that includes vegetables and whole grains;
- Be aware of your body and do a body scan every hour at least. Check for tension areas – across the forehead, at the base of the skull, the tops of the shoulders, and anywhere along your back. Relax your body and take a deep breath to dispel tension;
- Try not to drop your regular exercise, stretching, or yoga routine. This will keep your body flexible, strong, and less prone to discomfort at work.
If you take the time now to implement these ergonomic principles, you will save more time in the future and be more efficient than you would with an injury. Small changes now prevent larger problems later!