Ergonomic risk factors arise when work tasks do not fit or exceed the capabilities of the worker. I have written about how to change the physical work environment and tasks, but what can you do to increase your capabilities as a worker? You should be able to work an 8-hour day without being extremely fatigued and without too much discomfort. If this does not sound like your workday, consider making some changes:
1. Exercise – As little as a 20-minute walk three times a week can improve your body’s efficiency and allow you to work with less fatigue. For even more strength and endurance to last the work day, perform:
- Cardiovascular exercise 4-5 times a week for 30 minutes – Running, walking, biking within your target heart rate range. Target heart range for a 30-year old is 19-25 beats of your pulse in 10 seconds. Find your pulse on the inside of your wrist below your thumb.
- Weight training sessions 2-3 times a week for 30-45 minutes – Engage all the major muscles groups: chest, upper back, lats, biceps, triceps, deltoids, quads, hamstrings, glutes and core (abdominals).
- Stretching – Stretch after each set when you weight train to condense your workout. Or stretch at the end of your workout for a great, relaxing reward.
If you are new to exercising, make sure you keep at it for at least three weeks. If you give up before then, you won’t feel the amazing energy and wellbeing you can achieve with regular exercise!