Blasphemy! Every physical therapy professor from Bethesda to New Zealand just made me public enemy number one.
I am exaggerating, of course, however it sounds outrageous for a sports physical therapist or anyone working in the injury rehabilitation field to state that ergonomics could be overrated.
This is not to say that they are not important. An individual’s workplace setup, for example, is an important factor to consider when addressing ailments such a chronic neck or back pain.
However, if you look on social media or watch an episode of shark tank, you are likely to find several different devices claiming to fix your posture and solve your pain. Many then purchase these products and become discouraged when their ailments are not cured.
Claiming that a single ergonomic correction will solve all your issues is to ignore the myriad of different factors that contribute to pain or injury. Furthermore, it ignores the fact that there are other, more influential factors.
Look at the picture above. An ergonomic specialist would give me a failing grade. I am slouching and looking down at my computer with my legs stretched straight out. Even worse I’m resting my computer on my poor pup, Chip (he is under the blanket)!
However, I’m feeling pretty good today. I slept well last night and went on a long walk this morning after exercising. These factors outweigh the impact of an hour of computer work.
Improving large components of health such as sleep, nutrition, exercise, and stress enhance the resilience of our bodies.
Resilience is an awesome thing. It creates room for error and means that we can still feel great despite having an imperfect desk set up.
Overall, it is worth repeating that you should still try to improve ergonomics whenever possible, however do not expect it to solve much when the larger components of health are being ignored.
For more information on these larger components of health, check out the articles below!