Ergonomics in the Workplace
Today’s companies and organizations demand more from employees than ever in the past. With Americans working as many as 499 additional hours each year than those in other developed countries, the need for a healthy & productive work environment is increasingly important. Workplace ergonomics can have a huge influence on overall health and can even contribute to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which account for 33% of all worker injury and illness cases. Modern offices are beginning to catch on to the need, but there’s still plenty of work to do for most organizations in terms of creating a more ergonomic environment.
Looking to see firsthand the benefits of making your workplace more ergonomic? Here are a few ways to get started.
1. Start with Proper Display Height and Distance
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to set up a desk comes down to the distance and height of their computer display. A workspace that has been set up with strong ergonomic principles in mind will not require the person to tilt their neck up, down, left or right in order to see the display, regardless of how large or small it happens to be. The monitor should sit roughly at an arm’s length, with the top of the screen meeting (or falling just slightly below) eye level. When placed in a relaxed position with hands on the keyboard, an employee’s arms should sit at a 90% angle.
2. Consider Implementing Standing Desks
The standing desk is perhaps the biggest catalyst for overhaul to hit workplace ergonomics since people began discussing the topic. A 2012 study found that reducing sitting to less than two or three hours per day could help to boost life expectancy by a whopping two years, and considering the long workweeks that many people consider the norm, standing desks can make a significant impact on health and wellness when used regularly. Because standing desks have risen in popularity in recent years, they’ve dropped in price—a win-win situation for both employers and their staff alike.
3. Bring in the Help of a Professional
When attempting to improve workplace ergonomics, it’s helpful to remember that no two employees have the same set of needs. Managers and HR directors often go to great lengths to help their employees set up the perfect workspace, yet the vast majority of people in these roles lack true expertise in ergonomics. This is just one reason why it can be helpful to hire a professional ergonomics consultant who can work with each of your employees on a case-by-case basis, which can be highly beneficial in boosting workplace productivity and overall health and wellbeing among employees.
The importance of creating an ergonomic work environment isn’t going to decrease over time. Do your part, and your employees will repay the favor with focused, productive work.