If you work in an office environment, it’s likely that you’ve heard the term ‘ergonomics’ - but what exactly does it mean? In a nutshell, ergonomics in the workplace refers to the study of the relationship between employees and their working environments. It looks how workers can be more efficient and productive when it comes to carrying out their tasks, with a focus on how they can use equipment safely and comfortably without it harming their health and wellbeing.
Especially if your job requires you to sit down for long periods of time, having an ergonomically designed workspace can be extremely beneficial. The good news is, there are a number of ways you can incorporate ergonomics into your space to create a more comfortable and pleasant place to work.
If you’re keen to improve your workstation in this way, you could invest in new furnishings and accessories, such as an ergonomically designed...
Ergonomic office chairs
If your current chair leaves you feeling sore and achy, it could be that you’re due an upgrade - so why avoid that awkward posture and go for an ergonomic model? This style of chair has been specially designed to support your body, as well as promote healthy posture while you work.
In most cases, ergonomic office chairs are available with a number of useful features to maximise your comfort while you sit - such as seat height adjustability. This function allows you to alter the seat to a height that suits you. Ideally, you should be able to adjust the chair so that you can sit with your feet on the ground and your arms and wrists on the desk in front of you.
You may also want to look out for designs which offer lumbar support. This feature ensures your back is properly supported. Having a chair with a backrest tilt mechanism is important too. This will allow you to move around in the chair with ease, as well as giving you the option of sitting upright or at an angle.
Adjustable office desks
Aside from making sure you have the right chair, it’s important that your office desk ticks all the right boxes too. If your work surface is too high or too low, you could find that you end up stooping or straining yourself, which in turn could lead to problems such as neck, shoulder and back pain. Some ergonomically designed surfaces can be adjusted in terms of height, allowing you to alter them to a position that’s right for you, as well as giving you the option of sitting or standing.
Ergonomic Keyboard & Mouse
Ergonomically designed keyboards are available in a variety of different shapes and styles, but usually, this piece of equipment has a slight curve to it - unlike a typical keyboard which lies straight and flat on the desk surface. The curved, contoured design is to allow your hands to type at a slight angle, which is thought to be more natural. As a result, you should find that it helps minimise strain on your wrists, hands and fingers.
Unlike a typical mouse, an ergonomic version allows you to rest your hand in a natural and comfortable position. This specially designed accessory also requires less grip strength than its traditional counterpart, meaning the tendons in the wrist are more relaxed, which in turn reduces the risk of hand-related injuries.
What are the benefits of ergonomics?
There are a number of advantages associated with using ergonomics in the workplace. To find out how you and your employees could benefit, keep reading.
- It can have a huge impact on health and wellbeing
The truth is, if you don’t take ergonomics seriously, you could find that your employees start to suffer from a number of problems related to their health, including back pain, neck ache and shoulder tension. Ergonomically designed furniture and accessories are made to prevent and minimise these issues, leaving you with a happier, healthier workforce.
- It can help reduce absences
Since ergonomics can help improve the health and wellbeing of your employees, you should notice a reduction in absences. With fewer workers calling in sick, you should see an improvement in terms of morale and engagement throughout the office.
- It can help boost productivity
It’s no surprise that if your employees feel content, they are likely to be more productive. An uncomfortable, poorly designed work area can be distracting, meaning your workers will lose concentration more easily. In turn, you could see a huge dip in performance. To avoid this and to boost productivity levels, it’s worth thinking about how you can make your space a more enjoyable place to be.