Ergonomics and Wellness – Part 2 – Sleep

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:

2.  Sleep –

Did you know that the 2008 Sleep in America poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that due to lack of sleep, 27 percent said that they frequently found it difficult to concentrate while at work and 20 percent acknowledged that their productivity at work was often lower than they expected? “Studies show that habitually getting inadequate sleep — less than seven or eight hours of sleep each night –- creates long-lasting changes to one’s ability to think and function well during the day,” said Thomas J. Balkin, PhD, co-chair of the poll task force and NSF vice chair.

Experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep a night.  Getting a good nights’ sleep is one of the best ways to stay energized throughout the day.  It will allow you to be much more productive at work and will allow you extra energy at the end of the work day to do the fun stuff you really want to do.

Sleep is also important for bodily repair.  If you have a physically demanding job, you need to get plenty of sleep to allow your body’s tissues to recover from the day.  If you don’t rest properly, you will start the next day not fully recovered.  This puts you at a risk for overuse and you will be more prone to injuries.

More information about sleep and how to get a good night’s sleep can be found at http://www.sleepfoundation.org

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