16. Ergonomics/Health

Backache is an increasing public illness and the cause is often due to
incorrect lifting. Your back is strongest when it is upright in good
balance with a natural bending of the neck and lumbar spine. In this
position, the spine is stabilized under heavy lifting.

16.1 Lifting techniques

You should use a proper tool (truck, elevator, sack truck) for heavy
lifting as much as possible or try and get assistance. Correct lifting
technique is important in all types of material handling. Lift your
head and look forward.
The back should have a natural curvature - bend the hip and
knee joint.

  • The load should be as close to your body as possible.

  • Take a deep breath, then hold your breath while tensing your
    muscles in your stomach and back.

Keep in mind that:

  • Stable standing position.

  • A good grip.

  • Continue if possible with heels to the ground.

  • The leg should be in the same direction as the load.

  • If the load needs to be moved sideways, make sure to move
    your legs and body laterally instead of lifting and turning your
    upper body at the same time.

16.2 Correct posture

We are all built differently. Someone has a long back, someone has
long legs, and for others it is vice versa. Important thing to keep in

  • Make sure your back is straight and

  • Arms and shoulders in a resting

  • Feet reaching the floor/pedals.

Adjust the seat as close to these points as possible. Do you find yourself having problem with getting enough support for your back? Try a small pillow behind your back, so that you "force" yourself to straighten yourself.

If your back is unnaturally bent, then it will cause a greater strain on
the lower back than normal. Shoulders and arms will then be in a
wrong working position, as well as the neck muscles.

Incorrect postures may cause problems that are gradually seen in the
body: lower back problems, tightness of the shoulders and tense
neck muscles.

16.3 Exercise

You can prevent problems caused by incorrect posture, heavy and
monotonous work. The measures are simple but important.

Keep your body warm. Remember to be in motion, exercise keeps
body and proper blood circulation. You can do many exercises sitting
indoors, as well as at work outdoors.

When doing sedentary work:

  • Bend and stretch your neck

  • Roll your shoulders

  • Move your arms

  • Arch and straighten your back

  • Move your legs

  • Adjust your sitting posture

Take a break when possible:

  • Walk

  • Bend and stretch

  • Do arm movements

  • Work outside

30 min activity (walking, jogging, physical activity) 2-3 times a week
has a positive effect on your health!