He is passionate about educating employees and employers about the risk factors contributing to soft tissue injuries. In his free time, Jason enjoys creating websites related to Occupational Therapy that can be beneficial to others.
Through his years of experience, and training Jason has accumulated a wide variety of knowledge in the area of ergonomics. Today he shares with us some of that knowledge to help us live and work optimally.
Tell us a little bit about your history with InMotion and Ergonomics?
I’ve been working as an occupational therapist at InMotion for 14 years now. I honestly love the working atmosphere in the clinic and my field of practice. In particular, I really enjoy the area of ergonomics. That is, fitting the job to the person.
Why is ensuring that there is proper lighting in an area an important need for our work and home lives?
Our brains get signals all the time from our senses and these signals can affect us in many different ways. Think of eating a favorite cake. How does that make you feel? Or hearing your favorite music? Well, lighting can also affect the way we feel. Sunlight usually makes us feel happy and awake while a rainy day the opposite. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the amount of sunlight is one of the lowest in the Country. Therefore, ensuring you have proper light at work and home is most important, particularly in this province.
In what ways can exposure to improper lighting affect our health?
Sunlight suppresses Melatonin, a chemical in your brain which makes you sleep. So, with proper lighting in the day you will feel alert and feel more productive. Similarly, at night you want to limit light to enable sleep. Light reflected into your eyes is measured as Lux.
In what ways can you assess your own lighting needs for your work, home, etc.
An easy way to assess your own lighting is to use a Lux Meter. The accepted lux at your office desk is around 500 Lux. For comparison, on a cloudy day outside, the Lux can be around 10,000 Lux. Whereas a sunny day 50,000 Lux and more. There are many apps which measure light that you can download for your smartphone. Also, there are programs which change the light emitted from your Laptop or Computer screen at night and during the day.
What is S.A.D? How can proper or improper lighting effect this disorder in humans?
Also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD is a condition most prevalent in the winter months. There are many reasons for this but the one reason is the limited daylight in the winter. At the winter solstice (December 21st) the daylight is only about 8 hours here and, combined with our poor weather, the amount of actual light outside might be very limited. When considering the amount of time we spend indoors, the amount of light we actually experience in the winter can be very little.
What are some tips you have for personally assessing your own environment to meet your needs?
The first step is to determine if the amount of light in your office or working area is within specifications. Here is a reference https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/lighting_survey.html
If you don’t work, assess if your lighting at home is adequate. Determine how much time is spent in low light conditions.
If you find you have a light deficiency in your day, try the following:
Consider replacing light bulbs to meet minimum acceptable levels.
If you spend a lot of time indoors, try to get out more often.
Limit the use of sunglasses to only when needed.
Consider using bright reflective colors in your environment.
If you have been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), visit your GP to discuss consider Light Therapy. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/light-therapy/home/ovc-20197416