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What are the Different Ergonomic Exercises?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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Ergonomic exercises are movements designed to maximize the amount of productive time a person can endure while in a relatively confined space. Most ergonomic exercises are simple movements that activate muscles many people forget about while working for long periods of time. Sometimes, an exercise may be as simple as stretching or taking a break. Other exercises involve special furniture or more complex tools. For many people, ergonomic exercises can minimize pain at the end of a workday and prevent repetitive strain injuries.

The most basic kind of ergonomic exercise is stretching. When a person is focused on a task, it becomes easy to not notice a gradual buildup of pain in muscles that need to be moved. Stretching need not be of an athletic sort and can be as simple as turning one's head, raising one's arms, or standing up from a sitting position. Taking a moment to stand up and actually feel which body parts are bearing the brunt of one's labor is always a good idea. This can both promote alertness and combat pain.

There are specially designed furniture items that incorporate exercise into the entire workday. Chairs designed for active sitting, for instance, will not feel like exercise but prevent the body from slumping into an unhealthy position. Chairs and desks that keep muscles attentive and moving reduce the need for ergonomic exercise of muscles but not of the mind or eyes.

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Many people who work with computers do not realize what a strain computers put on the eyes or hands. Covering one's eyes is considered a form of ergonomic exercise, but it is more aptly termed a break. Micro breaks spaced throughout a workday can achieve everything that is necessary in ergonomic exercises in under a minute, allowing a person to stretch, give his or her eyes a rest, and take deep breaths.

Ergonomic exercises are also useful for factory settings and other work environments. Sometimes, these exercises must be tailored to the job at hand. When combined with proper work habits, these exercises can help prevent injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or more immediate injuries like back strain.

Some offices schedule group ergonomic exercises to ensure that workers do not become injured. In factories where attentiveness and physical prowess are essential to worker safety, ergonomic exercises are often mandated by the company and regularly enforced by supervisors. Given that this type of exercise does not disrupt a workday, employers typically do not object to individual employees who wish to take micro breaks or stretch. The benefits of ergonomic exercise greatly outweigh the momentary loss of productivity from any standpoint.

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