Ergonomics is defined as information about human behaviour, abilities and limitations and other characteristics to the design of tools, machines, tasks, jobs and environments for productive, safe, comfortable and effective human use. Ergonomic assessments (workstation assessments), helps to make the workstation ergonomically designed so as to minimise the risk of injury and maximise output and productivity.

It also helps to minimize the effort and increase comfort and efficiency to work in case of an injured patient, people who work from home so as to make their home work environment is safe and ergonomically designed. As per Safety, health and welfare at Work Act 2005, an employer must provide a safe working environment to avoid all work hazards.

Work related upper limb disorders (WRULDs), Repetitive strain injuries (RSI), back and neck pains, muscle strains etc. can be avoided.

Ergonomics is the study of work in relation to the environment in which it is performed(the workplace) and those who perform it(workers).It is a broad science involving the wide variety of working condition that can affect worker’s comfort and health, including factors such as lighting, noise, temperature, workstation design, tool design, machine design, chair design, footwears, job design including factors such as shifts of work, breaks and meal schedules.

Employer as well as the employee, both are benefitted.

Employee – gets healthier and safer working conditions

Employer – increased productivity

Injuries associated with non-application of ergonomic principles proves costly to both workers and employers as ergonomically designed workplace can –

Reduce injury

Increase productivity

Increase morale of employee

Reduce absenteeism

In an ergonomic workplace, tasks and tools are designed to fit individual capabilities so people can do their jobs without being injured and foster highest level of function.

With 8 or more hours spent at the workplace each day, your body can be subjected to harmful repetitive motions and postures throughout the course of your involves the study of how body and mind can achieve optimal function while carrying out daily tasks within workplace.

Let a supervisor know immediately if you experience –

Pain or aches






Fingers turning white and losing sensation

Reasons for workplace injuries –

Repeated use over time of vibrating tools and equipment

Tools and tasks which require twisting hand or joint movements

Applying force in awkward position

Applying excessive pressure

Working with arms outstretched or overhead or with bent back

Lifting or pushing heavy loads

It often develops slowly over period of months or years.

If workers ignore symptoms for too long , you may eventually be unable to perform your current job. They may have to permanently transfer jobs, undergo physiotherapy or even have surgery. In the very worst cases, they may develop such a major and painful disability that they’re unable to work. Without the application of ergonomic principles, workers are often forced to adapt themselves to poor working condition.

Ergonomic chair

It is designed to provide the maximum amount of comfort for the user. The objective is to “fit the workplace to the worker, not the worker to the workplace. Sitting for long periods of time places a great deal of stress on the body when it transfers full weight of upper body to buttocks, thighs and intervertebral discs.

Ergonomic Assessment Tools

These standard tools are used for assessing the ergonomics –

 WISHA Lifting Calculator

 NIOSH Lifting Equation

 Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA)

 Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA)

 Liberty Mutual Manual Material Handling Tables

 Washington State Ergonomic and MSD Risk Assessment

The workplace must be comfortable for the employee to minimize the risk of injury and maximize the efficiency of the person. As we are aware that our body has a normal range of motion (ROM), movement within the proper range will help in maintaining optimal body health by providing proper blood circulation and maintaining flexibility while reducing excessive stress.

Good and bad zones

To simplify and avoid strain over the joints we can bifurcate the movement into 4 zones.

Zone 0(Green Zone): ​Most preferred zone for movements. It puts minimal stress on muscle and joints.

Zone 1(Yellow Zone): ​This is also comfortable zone to do the movements. It puts lesser stress on muscle and joints.

Zone 2(Red Zone):​ More extreme position. It puts greater strain on muscle and joints.

Zone 3(Beyond Red Zone):​ This is the most extreme position. It should be avoided if possible.

In today’s Uber and Swiggy era, most of the work is related to computers or mobiles only. Adding salt in the soup would be some sedentary office schedules. Sometimes there are heavy documents and papers which can lead to manual handling risks. You must have heard “Sitting is the new Smoking”.

Risk and hazards faced by employees

Postural problems

Continuous working over laptops and mobiles are leading to Text necks and Whatsapp thumbs. Moreover maximum people in corporates who are not stretching or aware of ergonomics can be seen with stooped postures.

Duration, Intensity and design of office work

Even the non-computer work which requires continuous and frequent wrist or hand movement can contribute to the risk of injury. Prolonged sitting leads to anterior pelvic tilting which leads to backaches. Overload due to targets and presentations lead to dedicated time in front of laptop even till late nights in awkward postures after an exhausted day in office.

Psychosocial factor

It includes excessive work load, conflicting demands, job insecurities. There are two ways how these factors can impact. Firstly they can have direct impact on mental and physical health and secondly this can contribute to musculoskeletal problems also.

The musculoskeletal system is the load bearing structure. These structures resist the gravitational forces and maintain the shape of the body.

Following structures are at maximum risk of getting strained or degenerated:


Ligaments and connective tissues



Intervertebral disc


These can be easily avoided if an expert physiotherapist is there in the team to counsel and educate people about the good tensegrity and ergonomics.

Let’s check out your ergonomics in a while !!

Is your computer/laptop monitor screen at eye level?



Is the distance from monitor screen to your eyes is at least 20 inches (50 cm)?



Do you flex your wrist while typing?



Do you slouch in front while typing?



Are your feet flat on the floor with your hips at a 90–120° angle while sitting?



Can you adjust the height and angle of your monitor, keyboard and chair?



Do you stand at regular intervals while you work?



How does playing a sport improve quality of life?

There has been overwhelming evidence that physical exercise has its benefits on health.  But do we know it can do much more that? Especially playing a Sport can improve the overall quality of life.

Every kind of sports has its own health benefits. Having to maintain fitness with time, family and work pressure is getting more and more difficult. An easy and quick solution would be to inculcate games in your everyday lifestyle and rejuvenate yourself all throughout the day.

As we know our country is not known to be a sporting nation. Our recreation methods are limited to strolls, drives, shopping, movies, friendly gatherings etc. Sports is not seen as a part of our life and if it is, it is only for competitive or professional purpose.

However there has been a major shift in the paradigm in the last couple of years where everyone has started focusing on health and fitness in a major way. There has been a boom in the fitness industry over the last few years.

But does just exercising mechanically improve the quality of life? Physical activity definitely has its benefits but picking up a sport and playing a sport, part from the physical benefits boosts the mental health and also helps improve life skills in a big way.

Being a sports lover since childhood and cricket (a team sport) being my sport of choice (though now I work with Olympic Sports), I have been able to reap the benefits of having played it. I would just like to highlight a few Physical and mental benefits of playing a sport

Physical Benefits

  1. Weight management
  2. Improved cardiovascular health
  3. Reduced blood pressure
  4. Improved muscular strength and endurance
  5. Control cholesterol
  6. Improved Bone Health
  7. Improved Immunity

Mental Benefits

  1. Improved Concentration
  2. Improved sleep
  3. Reduce stress and depression

Life skills

  1. Improved self esteem
  2. Learning discipline
  3. Improved Time management skills
  4. Developing leadership quality
  5. Understanding Team work
  6. Dealing with tough life situations
  7. Perseverance is more important than winning or losing
  8. Goal setting

Pick up any sport you enjoy! Every sport gives you something to learn. You will reap mental and physical benefits if you play safe and smart. Sports improve in overall Personality development of an individual which reflects in every walk of their lives.

Happy Playing!!



Squatting is one of the best exercise to gain strength and muscle mass in the leg.

Full squatting involves nearly all the muscles in the body as it is the basic human movement pattern. Daily activities such as picking up stuff off the floor, toileting or sitting in chair or low sitting box involves squatting.

Exercise science says squats are excellent for building strength, power, mobility and muscle mass. Researches shown that squatting creates more growth hormone compared to leg press exercise. Growth hormone is important aspect for muscle mass.

 But question arises here, are you squatting correctly?

Improper squatting can be result of less stability and mobility of spine or any of the joint problem (hip, knee, ankle, foot).

How to squat properly?

 Let’s talk about positioning –

Head – To be held straight in line with the shoulders

Thoracic spine – To be slightly extended or neutral

Lumbar spine – Neutral stable throughout the movement

Hip joints – Stable, no outwards or inwards movement (medio-lateral)

No drooping (drop down of hips) should stay aligned with knees.

Knees – Aligned with hips and feet, stable, no excessive movement inside or outside, forward or back

Feet & ankle – Flat feet and stable, heels in contact with the ground at all the times.

These are few basic steps to follow while you squat.

So after knowing these, what will be the key requirements to do squat properly?

             Balance , stability and mobility

             Keep hips mobile

             Knee follow toes

Does squats hurts or bad for knees or it is a myth?

It’s a myth, while you do full squatting, forces on the connective tissue increases which will not produce any injury. Full depth squatting in fact increases knee joint ligament stability.

This can turn out to be bad only when there is loss of strength of certain muscles, any injury to ligament or meniscus, or unstable joint. Then you need to seek advice from physiotherapist in particular.

Other major factors which can lead to injury are:

             Fatigue (tiredness of muscles)

             Poor technique

             Faster repetition speed

             More resistance ( over load)

What improper squat can lead to?

             Low back pain

             Upper & middle back pain

             Ligaments sprain ( knee and ankle)

             Muscle strains

Injuries can come suddenly or can take a period of time to indicate you such as sprains and strains can come suddenly but low back pain due to abnormal bio-mechanics can take few days or months to show pain.

How to prevent these injuries?

“Prevention is better than cure”

There is increased risk of injuries when there is lack of knowledge among trainers or those who do exercises watching videos online which do not always justify exercise physiology and movement patterns.

Right thing is to consult sports or musculoskeletal physiotherapist for correcting movement patterns and exercise. Physiotherapist evaluates all the muscles, joints and mechanics of the body. Physio can recognize the faulty patterns or weak links in the body.

What is best to do if any injury or pain occurs during squatting exercise?

             Initially if something happen you should stop doing exercise.

             For sudden injury, apply ice with compression and take rest

             Avoid any vigorous activity

             Do not massage over the strained part of the body

*Best option is to consult either Sports physio or Musculoskeletal physio.

We “Pain Free Zone” has witnessed many cases like these in the past many years. Faulty mechanics was the primary reason for body aches such as low back pain, upper – mid back pain etc.

It is needful that a physio should assess gym going clients by movement pattern analysis.

Squatting movement at different angles, faulty mechanics to be under stood and analyzing muscle function.

Solved over hundreds of cases, we concentrate on the faulty root which is causing pain instead of looking at pain only and treating that part.

Is there any problem or anomaly which can be diagnosed mistakenly in place of faulty mechanics?

Yes of course, one of the example is low back pain – after doing MRI, disc bulge is seen and any medical professional can blame disc to be reason which is not always true.

Faulty mechanics such as increased low back arch (lordosis curvature increased) during squatting can over stress back musculature, or butt wink or SI joint dysfunction.

Fact – Disc bulge can be seen in most of the gym going people no need to be worry always.

For any pain with or without any injury, for correcting exercise pattern, kindly visit “PAIN FREE ZONE” once. We will assess you the way it should be. We will describe in detail what is causing discomfort to you.

You can visit us at or can visit pain free zone fb page.

All the advance physiotherapy treatment is carried out here in PFZ such as

Dry needling



Manual therapy

Exercise program

Deep tissue release/ Sports massage

*Exercise program can turn your wrong way of doing squat into right way.

*Deep tissue release will transform your tight – tensioned muscle into much more relaxed state and helps in doing movement and exercises fluently.

Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles Tendinitis

In Greek mythology, a hero named Achilles, as a child, was dipped in the waters of the River Styx by his mother, by which means he became invulnerable, except for the part of his heel by which she held him (the proverbial “Achilles’ heel”) making it his only one weakness.

Read More

Role of Physiotherapy in Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy is the unexpected and temporary facial paralysis that can affect a person’s daily function, communication with others, self-esteem, and quality of life. There’s no specific cause for its development (idiopathic). So far no conclusive cure has been established but it has been observed that most patients regain their facial strength and expression between 2 weeks and 6 months after the onset.

Read More