From the mouse that is freezing up your wrist and shoulders, the chair that is hurting your back to the aircon that is freezing you numb, Mrinal Shekar finds out how to deal with ergonomics issues that are a pain in the neck … literally
Your office chair could be killing you: A lowdown on ergonomics.
SSitting is the new smoking. No, this is not scaremongering propaganda but the conclusion of years of research conducted by Dr James Levine on how sedentary lifestyle is causing permanent harm to our bodies. The American inventor of the treadmill desk, Dr Levine further said that, ‘Sitting is in fact more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting.’ And to drive home his point, Dr Levine further said, ‘We are sitting ourselves to death.’ Furthermore, Dr Levine’s studies have proven that effects of long-term sitting are not reversible through exercise or other good habits. ‘Sitting, like smoking, is very clearly bad for our health and the only way to minimise the risk is to limit the time we spend on our butts each day,’ he said.
He and several other researchers have found evidence that long-term sitting ‘increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like various types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes’.
These studies in consequences of inaction prove that our workplaces are fast becoming ergonomics minefields. We not only sit in one place for long hours, which actually sends our body’s metabolism into hibernation mode, the furniture and equipment we use strains our muscles and ligaments in a manner that causes painful impairment.
In order to control the damage, Friday asks Dr Binu Abraham, specialist orthopedics at Aster Clinic and Alan McDonald, managing director, the mena region at Humanscale, a company that designs and manufactures ergonomic products, about the most common injuries caused by poor ergonomics and tips and advice on the kind of changes we can bring about to our lifestyle so as to effectively slow down our health’s downward slide.