Holidays, kindness, resolutions….and ergonomics

This year, I’m giving myself a gift. And I’m making my resolutions a week early. Simultaneously. My resolutions involve being kinder, to myself and those around me. I want to stop looking at the clock as my personal adversary. It’s time to make some adjustments. And, naturally, I can tie these to ergonomics.

As the holidays approach, many of us find ourselves overwhelmed with seemingly impossible deadlines and demands. Baking, cleaning, shopping, decorating, wrapping, etc.. None of these once-a-year marathon-style activities are “ergonomic”. (Although we might try to make them “ergo”…we’ve written blogs and bulletins about manually handling gifts, tree-cutting, shopping, cooking, baking, and wrapping, ergonomically.) We expect that our efforts will be rewarded when we pull off the “perfect” holiday dinner. But don’t we have the fondest memories of holidays that were less-than-perfect? When the turkey wasn’t done until 3 hours after the potatoes, or someone forgot all the gifts at home. In the voice of my favourite Christmas narrator, Boris Karloff, “Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.” Let’s be easier on ourselves and each other.

Here are some of my “ergonomic” self-care resolutions that you might share. 

    1. I will take active work breaks during the day. Instead of responding to personal emails, checking social media, or ordering birthday gifts on my lunch break, I’ll get up and walk around. Every day.

(Ergonomic? Yes…. prolonged sitting is very hard on the back!)

    1. I will create reminders to do balance exercises, squats, and toe raises at regular intervals throughout the day to improve my longevity. I will raise my sit/stand desk at least once every 2 hours. I will not sit for hours at a time. I will wear shoes in my home office, so standing is more comfortable.

(Ergonomic? Yes…. see above.)

    1. I will only watch television while exercising (rowing, stretching, or walking on my treadmill).

(Ergonomic? I see a trend here… I’ll avoid sitting and make my body stronger, more flexible, and more resilient. This stronger body will make my work feel easier.)

    1. I will make healthy eating easier by preparing vegetables in advance.

(Ergonomic? Preparing in advance means one kitchen mess for the week, instead of a new mess to clean up every day.)

    1. I will review what I’m carrying in my purse and backpack and optimize the weight and how they are packed.

(Ergonomic? Yes. Carrying heavy loads, especially in one hand or over one shoulder, create loads on the back. Lightening the load, and keeping it centered and close to the spine, will help my body.)

What are your resolutions?

In the new year, I’ll focus on biomechanics and other more traditional “ergo” themes. We’re reviewing some products, and I plan to explore “Lean manufacturing” concepts and ergonomics, how assigning big, strong workers to heavy jobs can backfire, and when and how job rotation helps. But next week, I’m giving myself a break.

On behalf of our team at Taylor’d Ergo, I hope that the holiday season, however you celebrate it, offers you time to rest, recharge, and connect with friends and family.

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