Ergonomic Office Furniture Information:
Ergonomics may be one of the great catchwords of the 21st century office, but do you know what it really means? If not, you’re in luck thanks to this handy primer of what you need to know to embrace this important initiative. You’ll not only be the office‘s new expert on all things ergonomics, but you’ll also promote better health and overall wellness within your company.
What Is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the scientific study of how workers interact with their workplace environments. In simpler terms, it’s defined as “the study of work.”
People come in all shapes and sizes along with a varying spectrum of needs. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to work processes, ergonomics focuses on making sensible adaptations in everything from workstations to tools to help eliminate disabling work-related injuries and reduce stress on the body.
Ergonomics factors into the comprehensive spectrum of workplace activities and office conditions. Lifting heavy items, repeating the same motions throughout the workday, working in stationary or awkward positions, and exposure to extreme temps and vibrations all fall under the domain of ergonomics.
Why Does Ergonomics In Office Furniture Matter?
The immediate goal of ergonomics is to help keep employees secure and healthy in the workplace. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) due to a poor work environment are a particular threat, and can affect almost any of the human body’s tissue. Over time, MSDs can lead to a number of debilitating conditions, such as sciatica, herniated disks, lower back pain, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.l
But the implications are also financially significant. As businesses increasingly struggle to maintain a beneficial bottom line, attention to ergonomics can do everything from improve attendance to reduce worker’s compensation claims. According to OSHA, MSD injuries make up a full 34 percent of lost work days, and account for a third of every dollar spent on worker’s compensation adding up to as much as $20 billion annually.
What Can You Do?
Why should the worker be forced to fit the workplace when the workplace can be engineered to fit the worker? By designing an office that’s free of ergonomic hazards, you can lower injury rates while increasing productivity, product quality and even employee morale.
When choosing office furniture, such as desks, chairs, keyboards and other equipment, look for ergonomic options with adjustable functionality. Ergonomic workstations should be designed so workers are seated comfortably and at a natural angle. Ergonomic chairs with adjustable features are particularly beneficial to lumbar support and spine health.
But ergonomics extends far beyond a simple chair: from adequate lighting to carefully monitor positioning, comprehensive workplace measures can be taken to minimize risk and maximize safety. And while ergonomic keyboards may require and adjustment period, they can significantly reduce a worker’s risk of developing painful carpal tunnel syndrome.
As technology changes, so does knowledge about the importance of safe interactions between workers and their environments. Your workers are the heart and soul of your organization. By making an investment in ergonomic furniture, you’re making an investment to their ongoing health and happiness — with payoffs that benefit your employees, your business and your bottom line.
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