Let me first start with the definition of ergonomics if you are not familiar. Ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their work environment. So if farmer Fred gets shooting back pains when he lifts a 5-gallon bucket to feed his cattle, then ergonomics will tell Fred what he needs to do to avoid the pain and get those cows fed!
Here are a few tips to keep you comfortable working on the farm!
Lifting: Lift with your legs and keep the load close to your body. It is never a good idea to reach and lift at the same time, so whatever you need to pick up should be close to you.
Carrying: Unless you are carrying two items equal in weight, things can be awkward and uncomfortable. If you can, instead of carrying one full bucket of feed try pouring half into another bucket so the weight is distributed evenly. If the inconvenience outweighs that solution then counterbalance the weight by raising your other arm while carrying the full bucket.
Shoveling: Whether it’s manure, grain, or something else the theory is the same. Keep your feet shoulder length apart with your knees slightly bent and lift with your legs, not your back.
Driving: Sit with your back against the seat and make sure you are close enough to the steering wheel that your knees are slightly bent. To prevent your muscles from tightening on long trips, shift often.