U is for Understanding the Benefits of Ergonomics in the Office

U is for Understanding the Benefits of Ergonomics in the Office

As a business owner, you want to make sure your employees stay happy, healthy and injury free. Establishing the optimal office and work conditions are essential to creating healthy and productive employees. Working under improper ergonomic conditions every day for long hours cause harsh impacts. It can lead to a variety of ailments, particularly with the arms, back, and neck. However, an ergonomically fit employee will experience less pain and discomfort. They will be more productive with a healthy work environment.

What are ergonomics?

The study of ergonomics began centuries ago. It evolved from the study of human capabilities to a combination of various disciplines. Ergonomics is the science of studying people. It also design’s tasks, jobs, information, products, tools, and equipment that help with performance at work, home, and play.

In 1955, Henry Dreyfuss published Designing for People.” This text applied new techniques in the study of ergonomics by measuring and quantifying variations in height, weight, girth, the range of motion, etc. These studies guided Dreyfuss and Associates in the development of many iconic product designs. For example, the Hoover upright vacuum cleaner. In 1959 followed up with “The Measure of Man”  which created human templates of the American consumer that varied in size percentiles for males and females. “The Measure of Man” has been updated over the years to incorporate new circumstances in office ergonomics such. Examples include: the use of computer monitors, the increasing height and weight of our population and is still considered the go-to book in world ergonomic design.

Why are ergonomics important?

Today, with so many working in an office setting, many employees suffer from musculoskeletal disorders. This includes carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, muscle strains and lower back injuries. But if we practice good ergonomics, we can help prevent these conditions from happening.

Making your office workstation fit your ergonomic needs can be as simple as researching the proper height for your chair, keyboard, and monitor. Keep in mind a standard desk measures 28 to 30 inches high. This works best for people between 5’8” and 5’10’ tall. If you are not within this range, you need to do some research. You may hire an expert, or simply check the web for free resources. Such as OSHA Computer Station etool, Cornell University Ergonomics Guideline for a computer workstation or the website humansolution ergonomic desk, chair, and keyboard calculator. If you’re on the smaller side, your answer may be a simple drop down keyboard holder available on Amazon for a nominal cost.

Getting your desk, chair, keyboard and monitor ergonomically correct, and educating yourself on how you should sit at your desk can help prevent or alleviate many of the conditions associated with the musculoskeletal condition. This allows improving posture and promoting awareness. If you feel muscle strain, be proactive and learn why. Or find where it is coming from so that you may make the proper adjustments and avoid unnecessary injury.

Ergonomics is a wise investment for any business. It’s not only great for your business but for the people you employ.

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