Five fun ergo things to do on Family day

Ergonomics applies at work AND at home. Here are five things you can do with your family, to start a discussion about ergonomics.

  1. Inspect your winter boots. Are they warm? Do they have good tread to prevent slips? Do they keep moisture out? If you’re shopping for boots, check here first, for help selecting an “ergonomic” pair. And here is an article about footwear and slips and falls.


  1. Let the games begin! Does one family member always win at certain games? Give them an “ergonomic” disadvantage, to even the playing field. For example, can the scrabble champion still win while facing a bright window? Can the kerplunk captain win while wearing gardening gloves? Does the chess master win while sitting on the floor so the board is at chin height? Can the arm-wrestling title-holder win while sitting cross-legged on a slippery surface? These challenges not only level the playing field but also prompt discussions about how ergonomics affects success.


  1. Resolve the gloves vs. mittens debate. Do an experiment to answer the question, do gloves or mittens keep your hands warmer? Wear a glove on one hand and a mitten on the other. (Try to choose a glove and a mitten that are comparable in material and thickness.) Build a snowman or snow angel while you run your experiment! When you come back inside, ask an impartial person to tell you which fingers are warmer – the gloved or mittened ones?


  1. Dust the door frames (while learning about ladder safety). Transform a household chore into an educational opportunity by dusting door frames while discussing ladder safety. In the workplace, we talk about “3 points of contact”, meaning that we should have both feet and one hand, or one foot and both hands, in contact with the ladder at all times while climbing. This can be a tough concept to grasp at first, so it’s worthwhile to pull out a stepladder and talk about it with family members. After some climbing practice, pass the learner a duster, and ask how to dust the top of the door frame. The natural tendency is to climb the ladder while holding the duster, but you can’t climb while maintaining 3 points with a duster in one hand! (Place the duster on the top shelf first, then climb, and then dust with one hand while holding the ladder with the other hand.) Another important “ergo” tip: Keep your body inside the footprint between the ladder’s four feet. A ladder can tip over if you lean out beyond the side rails, especially if you are pushing or pulling something. If you’re up-to-date on your ladder safety, there are plenty other other tips that warrant attention, while you’ve got your ladder out!


  1. Practice your golfer’s lift. No, the weather isn’t suitable for golfing yet, but you can prepare for golf season by picking up socks and lego! Keep the back straight while rotating at the hip, with one leg swinging back. Use one hand on your thigh, table or chair, for balance. This lift is a good technique for repetitive light lifting, such as laundry or toys, but not appropriate for heavy items. It’s also therapeutic for those of you who are counting the days till the course opens.  I’ve always found that people are eager to practice the golfer’s lift when I’ve scattered wrapped candies on the floor.


Family Day provides an excellent opportunity to merge family bonding with ergonomics awareness. By engaging in these activities, you will not only promote well-being but also cultivate a shared understanding of the importance of ergonomics in daily life.

These activities can, of course, also be used at work. Ask us about our other ergo awareness materials!

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