Workplace Ergonomics is a scientific discipline aiming to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. It is mainly associated with reducing workplace hazards, such as injuries resulting from repetitive motions, awkward posture and vibrations. While some of the damage is relatively mild and can be easily corrected, chronic damage or repeating the same poor practices after completing a treatment scheme are more serious problems that can persist for life. In order to steer away from occupational risks, employees should work in an environment with tasks, tools, equipment and workspaces that fit their physical abilities and limitations.
Ergonomics is one of the most important aspects of a company’s EHS solutions and is often the fine line between efficiency and failing productivity. Since the work rate is highly dependent on the physical conditions in which people have to work, it goes without saying that poor ergonomics will significantly impact the processes.
Since you want to avoid these unpleasant effects, here are some ways to help improve workspace ergonomics, as well as the benefits associated with better practices.
Posture is one of the critical aspects of ergonomics. If your spine is not in adequate alignment, it can cause damage to your whole body, such as aches and pains in your neck, shoulder and limbs. Headaches are also common when you maintain improper posture due to the pressure on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that sitting and standing correctly can be learned. The bad news is that it is a long-lasting process, and it might be very uncomfortable.
Just because a position is comfortable doesn’t mean it’s also ergonomically correct. Indeed, if you’ve been sitting incorrectly all along, the wrong posture may actually seem comfier to you. That’s because your body has become used to the pose. However, in the long run, this causes cumulative damage to your body. Although you likely won’t notice it at the moment, you’ll feel it more acutely as you age. By that time, however, the damage may be irreversible.
In order to maintain a neutral spine, make sure to keep the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and pelvic curvatures in alignment. Although the benefits are invisible to the naked eye, proper posture optimizes breathing, promotes the healthy circulation of the body’s fluids, and requires less energy to maintain that hunching over.
A Proper Office Space
You spend the better part of your working day sitting at your desk. So it’s essential to spend it comfortably. A good chair and desk are vital for maintaining a good position and ensuring you don’t sustain any chronic damage. Your office chair should have many settings you can adjust to different seated postures. It’s also important to keep your legs in a ninety-degree bend. If your feet don’t reach the floor, you should also use a footrest. Your seat must be adjusted to your body. If you have a particular disability, you should make the necessary accommodations that enable you to sit correctly. Even the best standard chair may not offer the best support, so adjustments are required. Inadequately regulated chairs can exacerbate chronic conditions and cause additional damage.
It’s not all about the office space, however. One of the most important parts of each business is meetings. Some of the most significant executive decisions are agreed upon during them, so staying focused and feeling at ease is important. That is why you need to get good meeting tables. One of the best options is the whale boardroom table. With robust legs carved from sustainably sourced European oak, the surface of this table is smooth and elegant, and it’ll be a perfect addition to any formal meeting.
The meeting chairs of choice are just as important. The Felt Fine is a versatile choice, owing to its minimalistic, gray color palette. It is made from 100% recycled PET bottles, which is likewise a sustainable choice and perfect for businesses aiming to become more environmentally conscious. The Team Up is a multi-purpose seat with an attached plywood detail that can be used to hold your papers and scribble down important info during the meeting. If you want to take it up a notch, you can get the Felt Tub, which allows for the privacy of its occupant even in a room full of people.
Correct ergonomics help improve productivity by a significant margin. It allows for less exertion and fewer motions, therefore improving efficiency. When you don’t have to deal with extraneous movements, and you don’t feel tired all the time, you’ll inevitably carry out your duties faster and better.
It’s not just the quantity of the work that gets a boost, but also the quality. Uncomfortable posture can lead to reduced concentration, meaning your work will not achieve the desired results. This can be a significant problem regardless of your field of work. In manufacturing, it causes you to deliver a faulty clothing garment or not fasten a screw tight enough and deliver an inadequate furniture piece. In construction work, poor focus can lead to a fundamental fault in the building’s security, and in an office job, it can cause you to misplace papers or supply poor performance. When the ergonomics are taken into consideration, these mistakes are less likely to occur.
The Safety Culture
The best working ecosystem is the one that aims to promote and sustain safe practices at all levels. Ergonomics is one of the ways to show commitment to these core values. Healthy employees are the most valuable asset of any company because they are the propelling force stimulating and ensuring business growth and expansion. A safety culture includes many aspects, from taking the necessary steps to avoid accidents to mitigating their effects should they happen and encouraging everyone to come forward with any potential misunderstandings they might have regarding the enterprise procedures.
Ergonomics is about the equipment as much as it is about your work practices. Correcting and learning from the mistakes is crucial if you notice any negative aspects. This way, you can move forward with renewed awareness and the knowledge that you’ll constantly improve in the future.
Prevention of Workplace Injuries
Work-related injuries, particularly those caused by poor ergonomics, can result in significant costs for employees and employers. Organizations can prevent common injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, strained muscles, and posture-related issues by implementing ergonomic solutions. This proactive approach not only reduces medical expenses but also lowers absenteeism rates.
Improved Work Quality
Ergonomic improvements improve work quality by enabling employees to perform their tasks with greater accuracy and attention to detail. Reduced discomfort and fatigue mean fewer errors, whether it’s in data entry, manufacturing, or creative work. This ultimately leads to higher client satisfaction and better business outcomes.
While investing in ergonomic furniture and equipment might seem like an initial expense, it’s a smart long-term investment. The prices associated with absenteeism, employee turnover, and worker’s compensation claims due to ergonomic-related injuries can far exceed the initial investment. Ergonomic improvements help to mitigate these costs and contribute to a more efficient and effective workforce.