The importance of ergonomics lies in ensuring that a person has a good working fit between the objects and people they interact with. This may consist of the work stations they work in or even the various environments they exist in. Such factors must be taken into consideration to ensure that humans do not suffer from discomfort. Hence, you should always think of ergonomically in the design of all existing products, systems and environments.
One of the most important places in the office where ergonomics plays an important role is the desk. The desk is the device which people are most likely to interact with on a daily basis. It is therefore essential to ensure that it gives the user the best ergonomic support. If the desk does not suit the user’s work setup, it will result in discomfort, aches and pains.
In relation to designing workstations, the importance of ergonomics lies in making sure that it is designed to enable workers to have the best posture possible. Poor posture can lead to neck pain, back pain and shoulder strain. Hence, such a posture must be avoided at all costs. The desk is one of the places in the office where workers need to be seated in a fairly straight position with shoulders perpendicular to the floor.
The traditional desk has a slant to one side, which is why some employees may be having back issues. Such a posture affects their ability to get into a sitting position when required and can also adversely affect their performance as well. Traditional desks are designed to encourage workers to sit in an upright posture, where their feet are placed flat on the floor. However, with the advancement of the technology and working style of most employees, the need for a more advanced and comfortable working setup has become inevitable.
With the need for workers to sit in certain positions, ergonomically-designed chairs are designed to help them do so. Traditional chairs are usually very narrow and do not allow workers to adjust their upper body posture. This can result in poor posture and increased strain on the back muscles. Such a working setup can greatly affect the health of the workers as well. Some studies have shown that traditional office chairs can result in the development of a number of diseases, such as osteoporosis, lumbar spinal stenosis, Paget’s bone disease and carpal tunnel syndrome. Such a condition can cause physical pain and can also lead to emotional problems.
An ergonomic computer desk can greatly improve the health of the workers and is a more comfortable working station. Traditional desks are usually much smaller in size, leaving most people working on their elbows and knees. The height of these desks can be adjusted at will, but this can pose certain problems when trying to work with a computer on your knees. Furthermore, the lack of a keyboard makes it difficult to use the keyboard, which can leave you with poor hand coordination and can also slow down your productivity. On the other hand, an ergonomic desk offers a much wider keyboard space and can thus help improve both hand and keyboard coordination. Finally, an ergonomic computer desk may be easier to use because it typically offers a better wrist support than a traditional desk.
Ergonomics are important in the workplace because it helps keep workers from suffering from numerous workplace injuries, which in turn can significantly reduce overall worker compensation costs. Studies show that those who suffer repetitive stress injuries often do not report any pain until months or even years after the initial injury. Ergonomically designed chairs and workstations help workers maintain proper posture at all times, which can help prevent such injuries. Furthermore, such chairs are built to provide additional support to the back, which can greatly reduce the risk of developing lumbar or neck pain or spasms that can restrict blood flow and lead to serious injuries. Injuries caused by repetitive stress can significantly reduce a worker’s ability to function properly.
As you can see, the importance of ergonomics extends well beyond simply preventing workplace injuries. By reducing worker compensation costs and preventing serious injuries, ergonomic design is extremely beneficial to businesses and can have a dramatic positive effect on quality of life. If your business suffers from injuries related to improper working posture or from repetitive stress, investing in ergonomic office furniture can really pay off. For a small investment, you can dramatically reduce worker injuries and boost productivity and profitability. To learn more about how ergonomic office furniture can benefit your workplace, call a professional today.