What do Hampton Roads home remodeling and ergonomics have in common? Plenty, especially when you consider that both have the same goal: to make life healthier and more convenient. To see what we mean, stay with us as we explore this topic.

Ergonomics Defined

Most people have heard the term “ergonomics.” However, what exactly does the word mean?  Without getting too technical, here’s a pretty good definition: ergonomics is the science of making things conform to people, rather than the other way around.

To illustrate what we mean, let’s consider the device you’re using right now: a computer. Whatever its model or maker, it’s safe to assume that it has both a screen and a keyboard. However, how large is the keyboard? Is it easy for your fingers to strike the keys or do you frequently hit the wrong letters? Do you hold your wrists in a straight position when typing or do they curve? How do your hands feel after you use the computer? Do they ache or tingle? All of these are questions that ergonomics experts are concerned with, because they shed insight on whether or not the keyboard is designed to work with, not against, your hands and fingers.

Regarding your PC’s screen, how large it is? Is it easy to read from, or do you end up with dry or red eyes after a while? What about its height; is it at eye-level or do you constantly have to look down to see it? Does your neck or back hurt after staring at it? Any discomfort or pain is a red flag to ergonomics experts, because they indicate that something about the screen needs to be adjusted to accommodate the way your body works.

What this means for remodeling professionals

When applied to Hampton Roads home remodeling, ergonomics seeks to eliminate features that can contribute to discomfort or injury. This is accomplished by adjusting elements as needed to minimize the amount of bending, twisting, turning, ducking, and stretching a person must do to accomplish tasks while in the house. Some specific examples of what we mean include:

  • Counters and tables that are at a comfortable height for the homeowner to use. For instance, people who cook quite a bit may prefer a lower surface to prepare food on and a higher surface to place the finished dishes on for serving. This allows them to perform both tasks without straining their backs.
  • Floors made of materials like cork, wood, or rubber, which have a very slight amount of give to them. This can prevent foot and/or back pain, both of which are common among persons who stand for long periods of time on concrete or other hard surfaces.
  • Seating, including toilets, which enable persons to sit with their upper legs and knees at a 90 degree angle to their spines. This allows them to rest their feet comfortably on the floor without having to dangle them.
  • Slide-out drawers that reveal their contents with a quick glance, sparing the person the trouble of getting down on his or her knees to find hidden or out-of-the-way items.

Why you should care about ergonomics

All of us are getting older by the second, whether we’re 16 or 65. As we age, the damage done to our bodies by poorly designed home surfaces and fixtures adds up, ultimately causing health problems like pinched nerves, slipped disks, and strained muscles. Avoiding these problems requires custom home remodeling performed by professionals who understand how to apply ergonomic principles to residential design. Criner specializes in just this type of work, setting us apart from our competitors. So contact us today for a safer, more user-friendly home that you will enjoy living in for many, many years to come.