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Ergonomics for Knitters - Ways to Improve Your Workplace Safety

The dictionary defines Ergonomics as ... the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort ...

We may not think of knitting as work if we are doing it for pleasure, but it is a form of work in that it is industrious behavior that produces a product. Here are some ideas that will improve your knitting workplace and movements to minimize injury and fatigue:

  • Sit upright in a chair that provides adequate back support and that does not have armrests that interfere with mobility.

  • Keep your elbows close to your sides, not on the chair arms or on a table. Also, keep your knitting close to your lap, not up in the air.

  • Take frequent breaks. That is, get up and move around at least every half-hour. When you are moving around, try shaking your hands a bit and stretching your fingers out like a starfish and back away from your palms. This counteracts the negative effect of keeping your hands in a forward clenched position.

  • Be sure that you have adequate lighting. If you are straining to see the directions or your stitches, muscle cramps are likely to develop.

  • Hold your needles and yarn lightly. If you knit very tightly you are promoting the possibility of physical disability by putting undue strain on your hands. If the reason you are knitting tightly is to maintain the correct gauge, try using knitting needles one or more sizes smaller. It really does not matter what size needle you use as long as your gauge is correct. A side effect of knitting more loosely is that you can knit longer without problems developing. It is also much more relaxing to knit loosely because the stitches glide along the needles in a fluid manner. Try knitting a swatch this way and see if you find it pleasurable not to be fighting to move the stitches along the needles.
  • You may want to check out other Knitting Tips from the Guru now.