WHAT IS ERGONOMICS ANYWAY?
Ergonomics is the science of studying how efficient people are in their work environment, as well as detailing what could be done to make them more productive throughout the day. In simple terms, an ergonomic study is conducted to determine if an employee is working to their full efficiency with the office supplied to them currently. If the study concludes that productivity would increase and the employee would benefit from a change in supplies such as a different chair, desk, mouse, monitor, etc., the needed changes are made to ensure the employee doesn’t sustain any injury and is able to work at full productivity level from then on.
Unfortunately, in many workplaces ergonomics is a little thought about the subject, resulting in employees developing long-term issues such as back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, vision problems, etc. The benefits of working in an ergonomic environment are endless, but some of the major benefits are attractive to employers as well as employees, such as reducing costs, increasing productivity, increasing employee morale and improves the quality of work.
The more people working in an ergonomic environment will result in less and fewer risk factors and in turn lower the number of workers compensation claims a business faces. Providing employees with a comfortable workspace reduces the risk of them obtaining injuries during their career, and gives them a sense of importance within the company to know they are being taken care of and their best interests are being looked out for by their employer.
Statistics show that many adults spend up to 70% of their waking hours sitting down and have little to no physical activity in their daily lives, the introduction of the computer led to a decline in physical activity due to the fact that many adults hold office jobs which require them to sit at a desk to work. Leading ergonomic furniture supplier, ISE Group offers a full line of ergonomic office furniture allowing consumers to pick which pieces and styles they would like and customize their office to fit their needs, as well as any accessories that may come in handy such as laptop and tablet drawers.
It’s not all on the shoulders of the employer to put employees an ergonomic environment, there are small things a worker can do each day to improve their work environment, take the strain off their back and improve their productivity throughout the day. Below are five (5) simple steps you can do to improve your work environment:
- Find your natural posture:
- Feet on the floor in front of you, hands on your lap, shoulders relaxed and leaned back slightly. This should feel comfortable.
- Mouse and keyboard placement:
- Height: 2 inches from your thighs
- Tilt: the keyboard down and away from you
- Position: keyboard and mouse shoulder distance apart
- Position your screen(s):
- Distance: sit back and extend your arm, your fingers should brush the monitor
- Height: close your eyes, open them, your site should land on the address bar of your web browser when at the correct height
- Adjust your chair:
- Shape: think back to posture
- Length: when sitting comfortably there should be about a fist size of space between the chair and your leg
- Height: your feet should be flat on the floor when sitting
- Get up and move!
- An ergonomic workspace can only go so far, physical activity is still a crucial part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to get up and stretch during your work day!