Ergonomic Tips in Preventing Muscle Fatigue and Joint Pain

There are various challenges we face when it comes to doing our business at home and at work. We may enjoy doing our tasks, but it's not always 100% satisfying. Most of us achieve our desired results, but our body's pain and discomfort can lessen our sense of achievement. Behind all these factors contributed to such results, including lack of effective work procedures and the wrong utilization of resources. When we tend to choose not to apply proper ergonomics with our daily activities, we become prone to muscle fatigue and joint pain. If you're one of those suffering from these health conditions, it would be best to learn and apply some ergonomic tips.


What do You Need to Know About Muscle Fatigue? defines muscle fatigue as:

"Muscle fatigue is a symptom that decreases your muscles' ability to perform over time. It can be associated with a state of exhaustion, often following strenuous activity or exercise. When you experience fatigue, the force behind your muscles' movements decreases, causing you to feel weaker."

It also mentioned that even though exercise can be a common cause of muscle fatigue, other factors may cause it.


You might be wondering what the symptoms of muscle fatigue are. The signs that you might be having muscle fatigue include the following:

  • muscle twitching
  • trembling
  • soreness
  • having a weak grip
  • shortness of breath
  • muscle cramps
  • pain in some areas of the body


Another definition of muscle pain was shared by Medical News Today. A part of one of its published articles mentioned:

"Muscle fatigue is a symptom that makes it harder to move as normal. Some people experience a dull aching in the muscles. They may also feel constantly tired and lack the energy to perform everyday tasks."


It also shared some of the common causes of muscle fatigue. The list includes:

  • strenuous activities
  • stroke
  • ageing
  • inflammatory diseases
  • obesity
  • muscular diseases
  • cancer
  • burns
  • some diseases caused by a virus


Treatment for muscle fatigue depends on what resulted in it. For instance, when muscle fatigue is caused by strenuous activities, finding out how to prevent or manage its cause will be a big help.


What is Joint Pain?

According to WebMD, joint pain is a common condition among people all over the world. It says,

"In one national survey, about one-third of adults reported having joint pain within the past 30 days. Knee pain was the most common complaint, followed by shoulder and hip pain, but joint pain can affect any part of your body, from your ankles and feet to your shoulders and hands. As you get older, painful joints become increasingly more common.”


Joint pain can start as mild to excruciating discomfort. Some kinds of joint pain can be either chronic or acute. They can significantly affect the quality of life and work performance of every individual.


So, what are the common reasons for acquiring joint pain? According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the causes are the following:

- Broken bone

- Joint inflammation

- Lack of blood supply to the bones

- Lupus

- Rheumatic fever

- Sprains

- Tendinitis

- Osteoarthritis

- Arthritis

- Leukemia

- Lyme diseases

- Gout

- Fibromyalgia

- Rickets

- Bone cancer


World Health Organization's Publications shared a post  wherein injuries related to work are discussed,

"Disorders or injuries affecting muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and bones are mainly caused by a mechanical overload of the respective biological structures. Potential overload of tissues results from high-intensity forces or torques acting on and inside the body. Examples of occupational activities coinciding with high mechanical requirements are handling objects, as in transportation jobs, or the application of pushing or pulling forces to tools or machines. The detrimental effect of mechanical overload depends mainly on the magnitude of the force."


The published article also stressed that exposure duration is a critical factor in the development of any musculoskeletal disorders.

The best advice to eliminate joint pain is to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and prescription. However, there are other options to alleviate joint pain. These are:

- Home remedies (such as cold compress)

- Physical therapy

- Changes in diet and lifestyle

- Taking nutritional supplements

- Some kinds of oral or injectable medications


Doing the proper exercises or physical activities can lessen the risk of worsening your joint pain. It is also important to use appropriate ergonomic tools, equipment, and accessories to make sure all employees or members of the family will be free from the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.


Of course, whether you are a worker at home or in the field, you should always aim to avoid injuries and accidents. World Health Organization advised:

"The avoidance of accidents is another important field for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. Hazardous situations, in particular for plunges, can occur during work at a greater height, for example, on a ladder, a scaffold or a construction site. The risk for plunges can be reduced by securing the standing position and by stabilizing the equipment on which the worker climbs. In particular, steady ladders and fixing the ladders to the floor or on stable objects are indispensable. Only sufficiently stable and steady scaffolds should be used, and these should be fixed to the building. Furthermore, securing the position of the worker by roping to the climbing aid (ladder; scaffold) or building is an important measure for preventing plunges."


It is always the utmost importance to be aware of the proper ways on how to keep every worker safe and comfortable at work. In addition, there are also effective ways of preventing muscle fatigue and joint pains.


 Ways on How You Can Prevent Muscle Fatigue and Joint Pain

Although we can be prone to muscle fatigue and joint pain because of our work and daily activities, there are ways on how we can prevent these health conditions.

#1 Avoid slouching while sitting or standing

#2 Relax the muscles and alternate positions often

#3 Take some breaks when working on repetitious jobs

#4 Perform some hand exercises to avoid joint pain

#5 Utilize standing desks and desk converters to stop living an inactive lifestyle, causing muscle tension and fatigue

#6 Use ergonomic accessories such as vertical mouse and ergonomic keyboard to make sure you will not have musculoskeletal disorders

#7 Choose to use an ergonomic chair to reduce the risk of joint pain

#8 Position your computer monitor correctly to maintain a good neck and head posture.

#9 Keep your desk ergonomically organized by making sure that your mouse, keyboard, and other accessories are positioned correctly

#10 Keep your most commonly accessed items and accessories should be placed between the shoulder and hip, so you will not need to prevent reaching up or bending.


Final Thoughts

Muscle fatigue and joint pain are both common health conditions often experienced by people at home and work. These can be due to various factors. Their effects on a person's daily performance can be mild to alarming. To prevent having joint pain and muscle fatigue, make sure to follow the tips mentioned above.