Sure, we have all learned Ergonomics in the workplace but what about home ergonomics?
What about all those gardening tools we use? The knowledge of ergonomics makes me wonder about the RIGHT ergonomic way we should
Are they good for our backs? Are we straining our necks?
It makes you wonder, doesn't it?
Thus, I thought I'd venture out and select a couple of home ergonomics topics - those that we can relate to everyday.
How Does Ergonomics Fit Into The Home?
Similar to workplace ergonomics, home ergonomics is the science and study of fitting the home to the resident.
Home ergonomics is the idea of having components of a home that have been designed with the body's comfort in mind. Not only will the user be comfortable, it will also only be much easier to use (whatever it is, a snow shovel, a knife) AND will also prevent injuries.
We spend half of our day at our workplace and the next half of the day resting at home so why should our practice and application of ergonomics stop at home?
Looking closer at how and where we spend our time at home and home ergonomics made me realize that there are items in nearly every room that had not be designed ergonomically. What is astonishing is that maybe we shouldn't be so quick to blame the workplace, we have to look carefully at our own homes!
Ergonomic sofa / Ergonomic lounge chair / Ergonomic lounge chairs / Ergonomic recliners
What to note about Ergonomic sofas and chairs in home ergonomics, are how they take the pressure off your back and the pressure it places in your hips.
When you are sitting, you place an enormous pressure on your back, some say a few times your weight even. Having a back rest helps as it relieves some of the weight and burden on your back.
It is important for the sofa not to be too low, causing your knees to bend less than 90 degrees. Subconsciously you'll sink in and stretch out your legs to maintain that 90 degree angle of your knees.
If your sofa is too soft, you'll find yourself sinking in. This causes too much pressure on your hips, which you should note if you have elderly people in your home, who have fragile hip joints. My grandmother broke her hips twice, and we had to make sure she sat upright on wooden chair with a seat cushion to make it more comfortable.
With a sofa/lounge chair, recliners that are 'too soft', it creates extra work and tension to get off it. And if you are not careful, sometimes you may exert too much force and strain something.
Sure, you can lounge around and slouch - after all, that is a way of resting. Just mix up your positions regularly and don't stay in one position for too long. If you find yourself sleeping, you should move to your ergonomic bed.
You have to check out these ergonomic massage lounge chairs and garden chaise too! (Skip the first part).
Where to buy?
Honestly, I don't think you need to buy an ergonomic sofa, specific, per say...just follow ergonomic principles and you'll be fine. However, if you would like... One of the top ergonomic sofa companies is called Knoll, as they offer a wide range of sofa styles. As for an ergonomic lounge chair, visit the Knoll website when searching for this as well.
Ergonomic Bed / Ergonomic Pillow / Posture pedic mattress / Sleep Posture is important in Home ergonomics
Given that you spend one thirds or one quarter of the year in your bed, the bed is one area we should not ignore ergonomic and good posture principles for it.
How you sleep affects your day.
It affects your breathing, your rejuvenation - your body will not be able to repair itself at optimum level if you sleep badly. Many of the reasons why people sleep badly is because of a poor bed.
A posture pedic mattress is probably the best place to start. They are clinically proven to help your posture as you sleep.
Obus Forme Ultimate Neck Pillow
You can consider ergonomic pillows, which does not cause your neck to bend like some conventional pillows do, causing neck aches and strains.
There are quite a few theories on sleep posture which I can't divulge in at the moment, but you can guess what kind of strain your body is aching by the way you sleep. (for. instance, if you sleep with your stomach flat on the mattress, you are most likely straining your back in the day.)
An ergonomic bedroom should also be free of clutter, as it aids a better, more restful sleep.
Ergonomic Kitchen and Table
Do you feel frustrated working in your kitchen? Learn about ergonomics in the kitchen and good ergonomics kitchen design.
While we have studied the importance of the right height when it comes to ergonomic tables and desk, we know that it is impossible to have the ideal ergonomic position for a dining table. (in Home ergonomics).
I've simply decided to include this because if you have kids who are young and growing, you can consider elevating your child on his seat, to make it more comfortable for him to sit on. You can get creative here and place telephone books under his cushion seat so that he is not over stretching and straining his neck and back.
While the dining table will not be ergonomic to all adults as we all differ in heights, the time spent on the dining table is insignificant enough to just 'bear it', however, you should not look to double up your dining table as your work desk.
An ergonomic knife is something that takes the stress off of your wrist, hands, and arms, which makes cutting things around the kitchen much easier than ever before. You can get pick up an ergonomic knife.
See more recommendations on our Ergonomic Knife page.
Ergonomic Gardening Tools / Ergonomic Garden Motus Tool
Ergonomic gardening tools are also great to have around the house, as they can take pressure off of the arms, hands, wrists, back, and neck, depending on the type of tool. If you have been using tools that force you to bend over too much, you will find that an ergonomic version will help with this problem greatly. The ergonomic garden motus tool is a great example of this, as it provides users with maximum comfort as they work in their gardens.
Ergonomic rake / Ergonomic Snow Shovel
An ergonomic rake and an ergonomic show shovel work well because they come with telescope style handles. This means that they can be expanded and contracted as need be, so you can avoid back strain. Shoveling snow in particular puts a great deal of stress on the back, so purchasing one of these shovels is definitely a good idea for anyone who has run into these problems in the past.
Other Home Related Ergonomics
Though your shoes are meant for the workplace or outside the home, they are something you usually do in your free time and you bring them home.
Shoes support your feet and back. (Of course, good posture too).
I used to only buy shoes for how they looked. And the higher the heels the better. But now, after doing some research on ergonomic safety for your feet, I decided, ergonomic shoes are now for me! Of course, I'll still wear my nice heels when I have a nice event which I won't spend too much time walking anyway...
Do you work in an industrial workplace or in hospitality? Read more about Ergonomic Safety Shoes.
Ergonomic Shoulder Bags
Image via Flickr Storem
Do you consider how much weight you are carrying on your shoulder?
Bags, handbags and purses that are too large or heavy can throw off our posture, pinch the nerves in our neck and shoulder, and hinder circulation and vascular flow.
This contributes to neck, back and shoulder aches as well as distortion.
A very common culprit is the laptop bag that is too heavy. A lot of us carry this everyday to work, have we stopped to check if it is ergonomic?
Ergonomic purses are designed to eventually distribute its weight as much as possible