Technology has dramatically transformed our workplaces, enabling office workers to connect with others and complete dozens of different tasks without having to leave their desks. Unfortunately, this has also led to evolving ergonomics issues, causing multiple musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Statistics show that about 31% of all occupational injuries and illnesses in the United States are a result of MSDs.
Many employers overlook ergonomics when it comes to possible workplace risks. Ergonomics and office design go hand in hand when it comes to controlling the rate of injuries and illnesses in the workplace. These factors can also affect productivity and expenses related to healthcare and employees’ compensation claims.
Here are five ergonomics tips for fostering a healthy workplace environment.
1. Use Standing Desks
Standing desks are a vital part of an ergonomic-friendly office. An ergonomic standing desk cuts the risk of excessive weight gain and its associated health issues. It has also been found to improve mood and energy, besides decreasing back pain. In fact, studies indicate that using standing desks may reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood sugar levels.
With that being said, it’s important to gradually introduce standing desks. Sudden, long bouts of standing can lead to body pains and aches. Thus, it’s a good idea to take turns between standing and sitting. Moreover, encourage your employees to wear suitable and comfortable footwear as standing can also cause heel pain.
2. Install Ergonomic Computer Desks
Ergonomic furniture like an ergonomic computer desk promotes better posture and overall wellbeing of employees. These desks are designed to promote musculoskeletal health. The design of this furniture addresses posture problems, adjusts the spine, and decreases work-related illnesses and injuries.
For example, Biomorph ergonomic desks can facilitate better health, which can also improve employee productivity. When your employees are in good health, they will perform better and deliver their best work. The three sit-to-stand adjustment options featured in these desks reduce potential workplace injuries and illnesses, cutting the rate of sick leaves and overall absenteeism. All of these factors will contribute to your company’s profitability.
3. Encourage Your Employees to Take Breaks
While ergonomic furniture supports a healthy workplace, work stress can still affect your employees’ wellbeing. For example, stress factors, such as the push to meet a deadline, can cause your workers to miss out on breaks. That can lead to strain on the muscles, contributing to adverse effects on their health.
Also, sitting for an extended period can exhaust the body because the human body can only withstand a single posture for around twenty minutes, after which it has to be reset. As such, it makes sense to encourage your employees to take breaks between work. For instance, a short break for stretching and movement helps to decrease exhaustion, minimize MSDs, and promote a better work environment overall.
4. Promote Eye Care
Eye strain is a common problem among employees who spend most of the day in front of screens. As an employer, you can encourage your workers to take care of their eyes.
Small changes like adjusting screens to eye level while maintaining a straight sitting posture can go a long way toward preventing eye problems. And if there’s a window in the room, make sure to place the computers at a proper angle to decrease glare. Screens with poor resolution can also strain the eyes, and should therefore be fixed or replaced.
An ergonomic-friendly workplace environment is beneficial for your employees and business productivity. While these tips will help you create a health-focused workplace, you can also consult an ergonomic expert or consultant to evaluate and audit your workplace to develop better solutions. Additionally, stay up to date on the emerging trends in the world of ergonomics. It will help you understand and decide how to integrate ergonomic elements into your workplace.