In theory, sitting down for eight hours shouldn’t be hard on our bodies… I mean we’re just sitting, right?
The problem is, after decades of employees working this way we’ve started to discover the increasing number of workplace-related injuries as well as a decrease in wellness and morale. It’s an epidemic among employees around the world that has managers, healthcare professionals, and engineers working to improve the situation.
Ergonomics is the study of efficiency in the workplace environment. It’s the process of designing or arranging workspaces – their products and systems, so they fit the people who use them. This article is intended to explain the benefits of an ergonomic office. First, let’s find out what specifically makes ergonomically designed furniture different.
WHAT IS ERGONOMIC FURNITURE
The best example of ergonomic design is an office chair. An ergonomic chair differs from traditional office furniture because it ensures the employee’s body is kept in the ideal upright position while supporting the neck, shoulders, spine, and hips.
This is done by using an ergonomic chair that is fully adjustable to properly support your entire body. The many adjustments are essential in creating a perfect fit, and our ergonomic specialists are here to walk you through those adjustments and outfit you into the best ergonomic chair for you! Your backrest should have a slight arc to support your spine’s natural curve, the seat and back should be adjusted to keep your body in an open upright position, and the chair’s arms should be supportive to prevent strain to your shoulders and neck. Sitting this way also prevents pressure on your hips.
This is probably the key factor that drives employers to rethink their office ergonomics. Using ergonomic furniture such as chairs, standing desks, and supportive keyboards provide employees with the physical support they need to protect their bodies while at work. Preventing workers from hunching over office equipment, which worsens their posture and form, leads to a great reduction in pain. An ergonomic chair, for example, goes beyond fixing an employee’s posture, it will realign their spine, prevent arthritis and reduce the number of repetitive stress injuries.
IMPROVING OVERALL WELLNESS
Employee wellness isn’t just the physical wellbeing of a worker, but mental health as well. Investing in your employee’s wellness sends a message that you care about them. Studies have shown that feeling valued and respected in the workplace boosts morale in the office, as well as the employees’ overall happiness outside of the office.
It shouldn’t be surprising that employees in less pain work more productively. Using a proper ergonomic keyboard prevents an employee from having to take periodic breaks to rest their wrists and hands. A stand-up desk improves circulation, which keeps the employee alert/awake. An ergonomic chair means the worker can continue working without having to get up and stretch or take time out for back exercises.
Since ergonomic furniture also improves overall wellness, an employee doesn’t need to take time away from work as often due to illness or injury.
One of the greatest perks to come from using ergonomic furniture is that it’s designed for all users. Shared workspaces have become more common in the past decade, meaning more than one person will be sitting at that desk, in that chair, etc. Being able to easily adjust the height of a desk or the lumbar support and armrests of a chair is another factor that boosts productivity. It usually takes just a few seconds for a new employee to settle in.
FEWER INSURANCE AND WORKER COMPENSATION CLAIMS
It’s common practice for companies to budget for, or set aside an amount of money for medical insurance. Organizations with these practices have noticed a substantial decrease in expenses here. They’ve learned from experience that ergonomic furniture optimizes workplace safety.