Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crafting and Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of efficiency in working environments -- or, to put it another way, the study and design of devices that best fit the human body in order to optimize performance. And it's not just for the workplace.

Crafting ergonomically is important for physical AND mental reasons. If your projects result in physical discomfort, you're not going to enjoy working on them!

Take a moment before and after working on a project to check in with your body. Are you experiencing discomfort afterwards, but not before you start? There may be an ergonomics issue. Sit in your work area without actually working -- are all the things you need at hand? Do you have to reach or twist to get supplies or tools? Can you reach the desktop comfortably?

Workspace Basics:

  • Make sure that you are using an appropriate chair. Your feet should touch the floor and there should be good back and arm support.

  • Set up a workspace that works for you! Keep often-used tools within easy reach, so you don't have to overextend to get to them.

  • Allow plenty of desk/table space to work on your project.

  • Make sure you have plenty of lighting. Direct the light towards your project, not towards your eyes.

  • Keep an eye on your posture. Hunching or slouching can contribute to back pain. Awkward angles can put a strain on your wrists and hands.

  • Ventilation -- especially if you're working with paints, chemicals, smelly markers, or anything with a strong odor.

This is FAR from a comprehensive guide to workspace ergonomics... but hopefully it's enough to get you thinking. We want everybody to be happy AND healthy while they get crafty! If you'd like to learn more, here are some links to get you started:

This blog post was not written by a medical professional. It was written by some crafty folks who care about your health and comfort! If you have health concerns, please contact a medical professional.

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