On Ergonomics: A Primer for Employers

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Our offices matter more than most of us imagine. The sheer number of hours spent working means conditions must be safe, healthy and comfortable for workers. Ergonomic principles highlight how workplace characteristics correspond to worker performance. To inspire higher productivity, office environments should be ergonomically sound.

Outcomes of Poor Ergonomics

Managers who ignore ergonomic practices do so at their own peril. Injuries can occur even in sedentary settings where workers are forced to sit in unnatural positions for prolonged periods, perform repetitive tasks too quickly or regularly engage in awkward motions. Such strain can lead to localized arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and similar conditions causing chronic pain in the neck, back, wrists and hands. Disregarded, these disorders will trigger more sick days among staff or even permanent disablement of personnel, which is great grounds for a compensation claim.

Ergonomic Design

A lot of ergonomic risk factors can be abated from the beginning in a properly planned office. User-friendly workstations are often filled with adjustable Indianapolis office furniture, allowing employees to fix their spaces as needed. This includes chairs whose seats and armrests can be changed to suit their occupants’ height and body contours. Additionally, more modern desks are modifiable for use while sitting or standing. Chairs and desks must be arranged at a distance allowing the user adequate leg room, but close enough that essential items remain easy to reach.

Ergonomic Exercises

While external environment is the greatest influence on employee health, people can take proactive measures to minimize their risk of injuries in the office. A wide selection of stretches and simple movements can help stave off crippling musculoskeletal disorders.

Workers should also develop good habits while at their workstations. For instance, the proper posture for being seated is to have your feet flat on the floor, your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Retrieving objects out of reach requires standing. Use your computer with your wrists straight and arms near your sides.

An ergonomic office can ease employees’ work-related stress. More importantly for management, ergonomic environments encourage increased efficiency. With good ergonomics, everybody wins.