Ergonomics is the art and science of designing and modifying the workplace so that it fits each individual worker. Highly forceful or repetitive motions, awkward postures, and poor body mechanics can contribute to discomfort, soreness, unhappiness at work, and at worst, chronic or disabling injuries. Common symptoms of a potential ergonomic issue are back pain, pain in the thumb or fingers, forearm or wrist pain, or stiffness in the shoulders, neck, or elbows. Other potential warning signs are burning, cramping, numbness, swelling, tingling, weakness, or fatigue.
Everybody can benefit from ergonomics, from office workers to landcare staff. Customizing your work processes and equipment to suit you, your body, and how you work can greatly reduce your chance of injury, help you work more productively, and make you happier and more comfortable at work.