Workplace injuries can be common even in our technology focused society. Prolonged periods of sitting is killing you and improper posture is causing strain and injuries. The increase of information about these problems has put ergonomics on corporate America’s radar now.
Ergonomics, or human factors engineering, is now an important element in preventing stresses and keeping people healthy at work. Ergonomics is a mainstream idea in the workplace and there is rising tide of research in this area because the health care cost implication are huge. Sitting for long time periods leads to obesity and can increase blood pressure, blood sugar and body fat which drains the healthcare system.
Neutral Posture Inc., a Bryan, Texas-based manufacturer of workplace ergonomic seating products and accessories, offers eight tips to improve ergonomics in your workplace:
- Stand up for your work. Raising workstations to standing height for two hours a day (and putting taller cylinders and footrests on chairs) enables workers to be more active. Read more: standing desk solutions.
- Pay homage to the chair. An ergonomically designed chair can help minimize the physical stress of prolonged sitting. Read more: changing ergonomic chairs.
- Reduce glare. Installing an adjustable monitor arm reduces glare and helps minimize eyestrain. Try the LX Desk Mount LCD Arm.
- Arm yourself with support. Keyboard trays and forearm supports bring the work surface to the individual, shifting weight off the neck and shoulders and lowering the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Read the directions. When purchasing a new chair or ergonomic accessory, spend some time learning about the various adjustment options. While there are recommendations on how to adjust a chair for the perfect ergonomic posture (known as the “neutral posture”), an individual worker might desire a different position.
- Track your pain. When workers experience inconsistent or random pain, they should keep track of it and note what they were doing before the pain hit. Tracking pain can help workers detect patterns and make adjustments, such as lowering their chair or sitting in a different chair.
- Get moving. Schedule walking meetings. Take stretch breaks. Find ways to stay active throughout the workday.
- Consult an ergonomic expert. Ergonomics is the study of the body at work. A good ergonomics program can help reduce lost-time injuries and workers’ compensation costs. Designate someone in the company to provide ergonomic workstation assessments, or enlist the help of an ergonomic consultant.
Proper ergonomics can improve the health of workers and ultimately the bottom line for the company. It’s something that you can make work for your company by learning more about ergonomic basics like how to choose an ergonomic chair and how much to spend on ergonomic office chairs. Remember that giving your office an ergonomic makeover will have upfront costs but ultimately will payoff from healthier employees in the long run.