October 2021 is International Ergonomics Month. Ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their work environment, and the science of fitting the task to humans. When we use poorly fitting products for long working hours, we ignore our body's need for recovery, we may suffer unnecessary stress, fatigue, or even injury. The ultimate goal of ergonomics is to arrange and build things so we can use them easily, efficiently, and safely.
Lack of ergonomics leads to a vast number of health issues. Raising awareness is the motto of the International ergonomic month
We all know the famous G.I Joe Philosophy: "And knowing is half the battle..."
However, the problem is that behavioural science shows that knowing ISN'T half the battle. Consider the example: you want to run a marathon. You might read up on the great runners of life, research the ideal running shoes and learn about the best race to fuel yourself. But if you never hit the road, or never do any practice runs - the whole runner thing is not going to happen.
The same thing is true for your total well-being.
If you want to see any benefits, implement these behaviours in your daily life. And that is easier said than done. You need strategies to actually do it.
So I thought I would share some of the strategies that I use as a practice in my own life for wellbeing.
1. Posture and ergonomics go hand in hand. Whether you are sitting or standing, keeping proper posture reduces stress on your spine. An awkward posture is even more pronounced in the last 20 months if you have not paid attention to how you have been working. So first thing is to reduce awkward posture. Get a better work setup.
2. A lack of ergonomics is actually linked to work-related injuries. Some of the most common include overexertion, awkward postures, vibrations, and performing repetitive motions. So do a simple stretch and flex program, allow enough time for the body's recovery.
3. Small changes can have big benefits. If you incorporate ergonomics into your daily living and working, you’ll feel healthier, happier, and would feel greater clarity in thinking, making decisions, problem-solving, coming up with new ideas and innovations. It is not a costly or difficult process to make minor adjustments. So make those small changes for the big benefits of happy, healthy you.
How to make it a habit?
Remove the obstacles. It can be hard to stick to a new wellbeing habit in the early days, so why make it difficult? Whenever possible, try to think of ways to reduce unnecessary repetitive awkward strains on the body. (e.g. if your feet dangle while sitting in a chair, rest it on the floor or some stationary flat surface like a footrest if our back is not supported and there is a big gap between the back and chair, use a backrest if you are looking down at the laptop, raise a laptop to eye level and get external keyboard and mouse)
Repeat, repeat, repeat. One of the easiest ways to turn a new behaviour into a habit is through repetitions. Even complicated things - like driving a car - can become automatic when we've done them enough times. So repeat wellbeing practices for them to become natural to your daily routine, such as a morning cup of coffee.
I hope you use tips like these to help put new habits into effect for becoming a healthier, happier You! Improving your wellbeing is possible, but it takes more than knowledge to do it.
OTR CEAS AOEAS