Ergonomics: Your Home
Your body is subjected to the bumps and grinds of daily life every morning you walk out your door. Your home should be your personal sanctuary, where you can escape the rat race and nurture your mind, body and soul. The ergonomics of your home greatly affect your body and its overall health. Home ergonomics is about making your home a more comfortable, efficient and user-friendly living space. It's about making educated choices that will improve the quality of life in every room of your home. It also is easier than you might think, and the rewards are life long.
Below are some tips to help get you started.
- Install a cushioned mat to stand on along the length of your kitchen where you spend the most time. This will be easier on your joints and lower back when standing for long periods.
- Avoid round faucet knobs in all your sinks, which require repetitive and intricate twisting and turning of your wrists.
- Purchase an oven that is mounted chest high, eliminating the need to bend over.
- Store your most commonly used foods in your pantry between knee and eye-level.
- Choose a refrigerator that has a bottom-mounted freezer, which reduces the need to bend over when accessing the main body of the fridge.
The living room
- Make sure your living room furniture is easy to move and avoid the back-straining work that comes with moving an unnecessarily heavy piece of furniture.
- Avoid couches that are too low, which can make it difficult to get in and out of.
- Choose a couch with proper lumbar support. This will likely mean avoiding a couch that is too soft.
- Buy a reading pillow or reading stand to be used in the living room to avoid straining your neck or eyes by improperly holding your reading materials.
- Avoid sitting in front of the television in a position where your neck is maintaining an upward tilt. This particular position is a favorite amongst children.
- When eating in front of the television, place food on a surface that is high enough to eliminate the need to bend over to eat.
- When sleeping, use a cervical pillow that supports the natural curve or your neck.
- Use products that properly support your neck while reading or watching television in bed, to avoid being susceptible to what is commonly called "wry neck." The effect is sharp pain in the neck muscles with a marked loss in neck mobility.
- Invest in a mattress that supports your spine without creating pressure points.
- Choose a mattress that is flexible enough to follow the natural curves of your body.
- Use bath and floor mats, which provide good traction, to prevent slips and falls.
- Install hand bars, also to prevent falls.
- Make sure bathroom sinks and showerheads are not too low, which can further irritate lower back and neck injuries.
- Fit all faucets in the house with a user-friendly variety in which low force is necessary to turn the water on and off. This keeps you from putting unnatural stress on your wrists, which can cause injury to wrist tendons.