Ergonomic injuries cause pain, disability, emotional stress, and reduced productivity (1). Properly designed workstations can prevent ergonomic injuries in an office setting, manual labor, and an exercise instruction setting. The objectives of this article are 1) to introduce and define ergonomics, 2) to review the eight ergonomic risk factors, and 3) to relate these risk factors to exercise professionals so that they can adopt strategies to prevent injury and enhance performance.
It's important for exercise professionals to consider their own ergonomics and injury prevention when performing day-to-day job tasks at workstations in the health club or office. This article offers practical injury prevention tips.
Teresa Merrick, M.A., CSCS, NSCA-CPT, ACSM-HFI®, has been a practicing fitness professional in Omaha, Nebraska, for six years in various health-club and home settings and has worked with more than 600 clients. She received her Master's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor® certified and a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
Michael R. Bracko, Ed.D., CSCS, FACSM, is an exercise physiologist and director of the Occupational Performance Institute. He is on the editorial board of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal® and works as an exercise physiologist in three areas. First, he works in the field of occupational physiology: injury prevention, ergonomics, workstation stretching, and prework warm-up. Second, he works in the health/fitness industry as a contributing editor for Impact Fitness Magazine in Calgary, as a consultant for health spas, and as a regular presenter at fitness meetings such as ACSM's Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition. Finally, he works as a sports physiologist as director of the Institute for Hockey Research, where he conducts research upon the performance characteristics of female ice hockey players and teaches high performance skating. He also is the physiologist for the University of Alberta Women's Hockey Team.