Ergonomics is the applied science of adapting environments, especially the workplace, to promote efficiency, productivity, and comfort while minimizing fatigue and injury. Proper ergonomics is especially important for reducing or preventing symptoms of chronic pain.

Sitting for prolonged periods, frequently repeating the same manual tasks (e.g., typing, heavy lifting, etc.) or maintaining awkward postures for extended periods can all lead to soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal conditions, most commonly affecting the neck, back, or upper extremities. An ergonomically designed environment and practicing good ergonomics can help lower the risk of injury and reduce or prevent chronic pain.

Proper ergonomics involves designing tasks and adjusting the environment to suit an individual’s capability and limitations, while maximizing comfort and efficiency. For example, use of ergonomically designed equipment, such as an ergonomic office chair or standing desk, can help promote proper posture and circulation and reduces the risk of strain on the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues). Good ergonomic practice can also be as simple as maintaining good posture or getting up and moving the body every 30 minutes to promote blood flow and prevent muscle fatigue and stiffness.