Desk chair life hack! Take a towel, fold it in half, roll it, mold it into a C and sit on it! It’ll help to hold your pelvis in place so you will end up having better posture for when you’re sitting. | Photo courtesy of Whitney Ogle

Kinesiology department teaches students about at-home ergonomics

A professor and her students collaborated to produce educational videos on ways to improve the work-life balance

Since the transition to a mainly virtual learning environment, people nationwide have felt the physical and mental tolls of it. Humboldt State students and faculty are no exceptions to this matter. A recent study by Dr. Whitney Ogle, a professor in the kinesiology department, found that HSU students were rating their mental health and physical wellbeings a three out of five or lower.

But Ogle has done more than that — she and her kinesiology students have been making a series of short videos that inform on different ergonomic practices centered around working at home. It all grew from Ogle’s desire to find an adequate physical working space to make it so her body would not be aching all the time.

Between switching out desk chairs and trying to work from different locations around her house, Ogle was doing everything she could to make her life more comfortable in a time where nobody could work in-person. But then it dawned on her — maybe she could turn her experiences into educational content.

“I knew that since everyone was going to working from home, everyone’s ergonomic workspace was going to be totally different and I didn’t know that there was anyone on campus who was able to actually evaluate people’s home life,” Ogle said. “So I thought ‘Gosh, like I have a little bit of this experience and I’m part of the biomechanics lab’ and so I was like ‘All right — we could probably help out the university somehow with their understanding of the human body.'”

Ricardo Sanchez is one of the students recruited by Dr. Ogle to help with this project. A first-year graduate student in the kinesiology program, he was tasked with coming up with a plan for executing such an endeavor.

“I was like ‘Everyone goes on social media. That’s one thing that people kind of have a hard time putting down so if anything wouldn’t that’d be pretty cool to spread information through there,'” Sanchez said. “It’s quick, it’s easy, and you can get a good amount of information in a little bit of time.”

Sanchez realized that creating informative videos to post on social media was the way to go. After presenting it to Ogle, he began working on the videos with other undergraduate kinesiology students like senior Lacey Bruhy-Jimenez, who most notably produced a video showcasing mini-resistance bands for your fingers.

“It helps to build up the muscles in your hands, because when you’re typing and stuff and when you’re constantly holding a pen or something, your muscles — they stay in that same place all the time, so they’re not experiencing the other movements that they can do,” Bruhy-Jimenez said. “These things just kind of help with those muscles that aren’t being used all the time to help build them up so that way they don’t get weak and you can have them for longer.”

Ogle stressed the importance of stretching your mind and body beyond the confines of a work station.

“We need to get ourselves out of the positions that we’re typically in all the time, so if we’re at a computer we’re like kind of leaning forward all the time,” Ogle said. “So like thinking about how can we get out into this plane, how can we go into more extension anytime that we’re out at the desk.”

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply