How Correct Ergonomics at Work Can Boost Employee Wellness



How Correct Ergonomics at Work Can Boost Employee Wellness

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When we talk about wellness, the first things that come to mind are eating healthy and getting enough exercise. But when it comes to workplace wellness there are many more things involved, including reduction of sitting and workstation set-up – known as ergonomics.
Ergonomics is defined as the study of how equipment and furniture can be arranged so people are comfortable and can therefore work efficiently. A good understanding of ergonomics can help reduce the risk of workplace injuries for employees.

Injuries poor ergonomics can cause include:
• Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) – there are painful conditions that affect muscles, tendons and nerves. Prolonged sitting, especially in awkward positions and repetitive motions can cause these disorders. One of the most common is known as Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), this is a condition where a nerve in the wrist gets pinched, which then can cause numbness, tingling and sharp pains.
• Back injuries – poor ergonomics can result in back pain and back injuries, this can be caused by pro-longed sitting in an uncomfortable chair or standing for too long.

• Headaches and migraines – monitors and lighting are an important part of ergonomics. If your monitor is not correctly placed, it can cause glares which can lead to eye strain and uncomfortable symptoms.

What are correct ergonomics?

Correct ergonomics takes times and knowledge and isn’t as easy as following a step-by-step guide, as correct ergonomics are different for everyone. Enrolling your employees on an ergonomic training course is a good way to increase compliance, improve ergonomics and stay ahead in terms of identifying any new issues or problems.
Even though implementing ergonomics will be different for everyone, there are basic adjustments you can make to improve the ergonomics in your workplace.
Implementing correct ergonomics can help improve employees physical and mental health in several ways.

1. Purchase ergonomic chairs – Sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours during a working day can result in back and neck pain. Having an ergonomically designed chair, will help support your back and encourage better posture. A good chair will be customisable in height, chair depth and tilt tension meaning employees can alter the chairs adjustments to whatever is comfortable for them.

2. Place monitors correctly – When placing a monitor there are a number of factors to consider, there include:

• Place your monitor in a position that eliminates glare, as this can increase the risk of eyestrain.
• Place the monitor directly in front of you, as this prevents you from twisting your head or neck to view the screen.
• Place the top of the screen at or slightly below eye level and at an arm’s length away – as this is the perfect position or a user to view the screen without having to crane their neck forward or tilting their head backwards to see the screen and as both these can result in neck / shoulder pain.

3. Take regular breaks – making sure to have regular breaks is important for a number of reasons, including increasing blood circulation which is important in reducing the risk of health problems, including joint and muscle pain, obesity, hair loss, lack of concentration and cramps.

Sitting at a desk for hours on end without a break can cause employees to feel mentally tired, bored and frustrated which can lead to stress and fatigue. Regular breaks are important to energize the mind to increase concentration and lower the risk of fatigue. As well as decrease the health risks that can be caused by stress, which can include high blood pressure, diabetes and a weaken immune system.

4. Have a clear, tidy workstation – Having clutter on your desk can increase stress levels, especially if employees are constantly having to look for important documents that are scattered about a desk. It can also be distracting when employees are trying to concentrate which can reduce productivity as well as creativity.

Author’s Bio: 

I am working on behalf of Cardinus, who are experts when it comes to Ergonomics. They also deliver solutions across display screen equipment compliance, safety training and consultancy, property risk management, insurance surveys and fleet risk management.

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