Ergonomics is an important area to consider for anyone in the workforce. It is the study of the kind of work you do, the environment you do it in and the tools you use to do it. The primary goal of ergonomics is to set up your workspace to fit you and your specific tasks.
The Benefits of Ergonomics
If you have a space that’s set up ergonomically, you may see a few benefits:
- •You’re less likely to have issues like headaches or eyestrain.
- •You’re likely to experience relief from back pain and neck pain.
- •You’ll be at lower risk of bursitis or tendon issues linked to repetitive tasks often found in the workplace.
Injuries and illness are common at work, and they can cost both you and your employer money over time while affecting your job performance. Most injuries at work are caused by falls, repetitive movements, poor posture, working with vibrating tools or exerting heavy force—that is, bending, lifting heavy objects, or using pressure or force.
Ergonomics, however, help you feel more comfortable while at work. It puts a focus on a setup of your workspace, including:
- •Workstation setup, how you sit and how long you stay in individual positions
- •How you do a certain task, the movements you make and whether you have to repeat these movements often
- •Light, noise, and temperature in your work area
- •The tools you need for your job, and whether they’re properly set up
A CT scan, or computerized tomography scan, combines a series of X-ray images taken from several angles, using computer processing to create images from inside the body. They are able to provide more detailed images than a standard X-ray.
Preparation for a CT scan may depend on which part of the body is being scanned. You might be asked to remove clothing and wear a hospital gown, and you may also be told to remove any metal on your person, such as a belt, jewelry, dentures or eyeglasses. In addition, you may be told to refrain from eating or drinking for several hours before the scan.
For some CT scans, a dye called contrast material is needed to help highlight a particular area inside the body. Contrast material can be given in three ways:
- • Orally: For cases where the esophagus or stomach is being scanned
- • Via injection: Through a vein in the arm, contrast material is given via injection for exams of the gallbladder, urinary tract, liver or blood vessels
- • Via enema: For help with visualizing the intestines, contrast material may be inserted in your rectum
Common Work Injuries
Physical stress and strain are the most frequent causes of work injuries, which can affect the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels and the spine. Issues may include:
- •Back pain
- •Hand, wrist or arm pain
- •Neck and shoulder pain
- •Overuse injuries like tendinopathy and bursitis
If you have other health issues like arthritis or emotional stress, you could be at higher risk of workplace injuries.
A few tips to prevent work injuries include:
- •Try to place work directly in front of you, and sit tall while working.
- •Don’t stress one area of the body too much, such as the lower back or arms.
- •Change your position regularly.
- •Turn with your entire body, rather than twisting to face work or people.
- •Take breaks to stretch and move around every 20 to 40 minutes. Switch up tasks often if possible.
Treatment for Work Injuries
When you first notice symptoms of a work injury, you can try home treatment for a few days. A few ideas include:
- •Rest the area, and avoid any activities that increase pain.
- •Use ice to reduce pain and swelling. After about three days when there’s no swelling, you can try heat or alternating heat and ice.
- •Take over-the-counter pain medications.
- •Use good posture: Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in a straight line. Slumping or slouching after a strain or injury in the back can worsen pain symptoms.
If you have tried home treatment for several days in a row without success, contact your doctor. Your doctor can discuss ergonomics with you and can recommend physical therapy or other possible treatments.