Ergonomics is the applied science that seeks to improve the design and function of tools and other objects used by people by evaluating the interaction between humans and these objects. By understanding the range and capability of the human body, ergonomists work to optimize the efficiency and safety of these interactions.
Poor ergonomics in the workplace can contribute to injuries, whether from a one-time activity or the result of years of repetitive motions. These kinds of injuries usually affect the muscle, skeletal, and/or nervous systems and can cause pain and restrict bodily motions.
Cumulative trauma disorders represent the bulk of ergonomically-related injuries and accumulate from months or even years of intensive repetitive motions or activities performed in an ergonomically-unsound manner. Fortunately, most of these disorders can be prevented through a series of simple and inexpensive changes in equipment and practices along with the adoption of several stretching and strengthening exercises.
By understanding basic ergonomics and its interaction with your job, you can help prevent injuries to yourself, work more efficiently and comfortably and promote your long-term health.