Do you have a sore neck? Aching back? Perhaps your hands are throbbing and numb? If the problem is related to your office or workstation setup, the solution may be addressed next week at the University Ergonomics Expo.
Proper design of equipment and work environments and taking stretch breaks promote well-being in the workplace. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Ergonomics is an applied science of designing equipment and work environments that promote worker efficiency and well-being. Proper design can help prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability. It's a topic environmental health and safety specialist Mitzi Hithe feels strongly about, which is why she organized the expo.
"We usually don't get to see people until they've hurt themselves," say Hithe, who works in the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. "So this is a way to get the word out to everybody before that happens. This is an opportunity to point out the simple little things that you can do to improve your life and help your body last as long as it can."
The expo will focus on awareness of, and education about, ergonomics in the workplace, at home and in the residence hall room. It also will feature products that help correct some of the common mistakes that cause nagging injuries.
"We have nine vendors who will ... bring their products, the latest and the greatest, for addressing and correcting the ergonomic issues out there," Hithe says.
Healthcare providers and rehab specialists also will be on hand promoting ergonomic lifestyle changes. "Sometimes you have to break bad habits if it hurts, don't keep doing it like that," Hithe says.
The ergonomics expo will be held on Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 14â“15) in room 212 of the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life. For more information about the expo, e-mail Hithe or call 504-988-2866.