Ergonomic Considerations For RetireesEditorial Staff
If you’re like a lot of retirees in America today, leaving the workplace hasn’t meant leaving work entirely — your days are still filled with productive tasks, but only now they’re at home or in the garden instead of at the office. However you fill your time, whether it’s with sports or Internet research, make sure you consider how your new daily tasks may be affecting your body. Whether you’re cooking for hours, bending down in the yard or spending afternoons at the computer, you will do yourself a big favor by thinking about ergonomics. To help you protect your posture and health in your ordinary routines, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
1. Work in neutral positions: When you work in what’s considered a neutral position, you minimize the strain on your body’s musculoskeletal system. This is true whether you’re sitting in the living room, sitting at a desk, standing in the yard, or working in the kitchen. Pay attention to the positions you’re in and how they may be unintentionally causing strain on your muscles.
2. Get an ergonomic chair: If you spend time working at a computer or sitting at a desk at home, consider investing in an ergonomic chair. Customizable to your body, an ergonomic chair supports your body in a proper, seated posture, while protecting against back, neck or other strain. If you’re going to be seated for a while, it’s important to be seated in the proper posture, and an ergonomic chair empowers you to do just that.
3. Position the keyboard properly: Another tip for regular computer use is to position your keyboard so that your hands stay in a neutral position as you type. Your desk should be at about elbow height as you’re working, in order to make it easier to use your keyboard properly.
4. Stay alert to posture changes: Generally speaking, it’s a bad idea to stay in the same position for long. Whether you’re talking about sitting at the computer or standing in the kitchen, try to change your posture often. Remember that your body’s musculoskeletal system was made to move, and it works best when it’s being used. If you’re crouched down in the garden, take breaks often. If you’re sitting at the computer, get up every half hour or so to walk around the house or take a break to complete some other task.
5. Practice stretching often. Whether you’re knitting for hours in the family room or spending time outside pulling weeds, make it a habit to stop often and stretch. After every 20 to 50 minutes of work, get up, stretch your muscles and feel your blood moving again. This can make a big difference in your overall sense of tension and/or discomfort, too.
6. Move often. One final tip, especially if you have retirement hobbies that are more sedentary: remember to keep moving. Exercise is important for everyone, but it’s especially important as the body ages. In order to stay healthy, it’s important to get regular, moderate aerobic activity each week. Go for a walk, play with the grandkids or work out at the gym. What’s important is that you don’t let your muscles forget what it means to move.
Whether you’re new to retirement or a pro, you can improve your daily routines by thinking about ergonomics in your day-to-day life. Use the six tips above to practice healthy habits at home — from sitting in the right chair to stretching often. By doing so, you can help your body stay strong throughout your golden years.
Joel Vento is President of Sales and Marketing at Concept Seating. Vento brings over 20 years of experience to Concept Seating, leading to the creation of several products — including the 3150 Operator Chair. Concept Seating produces 24-hour dispatch chairs and office task chairs for a variety of industries.