Admit it. When you get home after a full workday, you often just want to lie on the couch. But you’re not alone! Many people feel worn out; not just mentally, but physically. On average, 95% of an office workers’ day is spent in front of a computer. It makes sense that we feel drained. And poor ergonomics don’t just make our bodies feel tired, they can actually cause us harm.
Poor workplace ergonomics can cause musculoskeletal injuries, which account for 34% of all lost workday injuries and illnesses. Even if an injury hasn’t been diagnosed, the pain experienced has a ripple effect. Pain not only affects how we feel physically, but how we treat coworkers, family, and ultimately, our productivity and focus. Our bodies were just not designed to sit for extended periods of time. Use these tips to stay healthy.
Proper Ergonomics Helps Your Health
- Changing your workplace in small ways has several benefits:
- Decreases musculoskeletal injury and pain
- Decreases healthcare claims expense
- Increases productivity of employees
- Decreases absenteeism
- Supports a culture of safety and health
Address the Issue
Start with assessing your work environment and conditions. If there isn’t an in-house ergonomics specialist, check with your Safety and Training department or Occupational Health. There are also many quality online resources that can provide guidance.
Consider incorporating ergonomics into your company’s onboarding, department meetings, or newsletter to increase awareness. Here are a few tips that will assist in determining if your workstation is the proper fit:
- Computer monitor is at, or just below, eye-level
- Head and neck are in line with spine
- Shoulders are relaxed
- Lower back is supported
- Elbows are supported and close to the body
- Wrists and hands are in line with your forearms Adequate room for the keyboard and mouse
- Feet are flat on the floor
If you don’t meet all the criteria, consider making these small and quick improvements to ensure a safe and comfortable work environment. By reducing unnecessary and awkward postures, the amount of time it takes to do a task can be significantly reduced, thereby improving productivity! Some research even shows that ergonomics influence employee recruitment and retention. Taking all this into consideration, doesn’t ergonomics make sense?