Ergonomics and Wellness – Part 6 – Housework and Hobbies

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:

6.  Housework and Hobbies –

If you work at the computer all day, do you come home at night use the computer as well?  If you work in a factory assembling small parts, do you come home at night and knit or clean the house?  Do you work as a plumber during the day and do home repairs at night?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider bringing some variety to your daily tasks.  If you work at the computer all day and most of the evening too, your hands, wrists, and arms don’t get much of a break from repetitive keyboarding and mousing.  If you use your hands a lot at work, then come home to knit or scrub the bathtubs; once again your hands, wrists, and arms don’t get a break.  Same with plumbing and home repairs – these involve arm work, but also legs and back.  Physically demanding jobs especially require proper rest in the evening and sleep at night so that muscles, organs, and tissues can recover for the next day.

It would be a good idea to evaluate at your job’s movements and postures and then take a look at your leisure time to make sure that you aren’t performing many of the same movements and postures at night.  Don’t forget sitting and standing – if you sit all day, it’s best not to sit all evening too.  And if you stand all day, some sitting at night is recommended for recovery time (enjoy it – this may be only time someone will tell you it’s beneficial to watch TV!)


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