We all know the familiar aches and pains associated with a standard desk job. The end-of-day headache from staring at a computer screen, your low back crying out from improper support, possibly your neck and shoulders tense from typing at a strange angle all day: we’ve all experienced these work-related maladies and more. And while not all of us can work in an office that offers a weekly massage, we can all implement positive habits and ergonomic designs that will change the way your body feels at work.
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The observation of ergonomics has roots tracing back all the way to ancient Greece and Egypt, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that workplaces began to seriously consider the weight of work-related illnesses. And since then, ergonomics have been a serious factor in many space-planning decisions.
So what are the key factors that weigh into an ergonomic design purchase?
Bad Ergonomics Can Have Serious Consequences
For many physical labor jobs, workplace safety is a daily factor that is considered a marker of a successful business. But more often than not, safety in an office is overlooked.
Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are the largest category of work-related injuries or illnesses in the United States, responsible for 30 percent of workers’ compensation costs. And a shocking amount of these occurrences are not due to heavy lifting or manual labor, but simply poor posture, limited mobility opportunities, repetitive motions (i.e. typing) and overall poor ergonomic solutions in the office. MSDs can result in days or even weeks out of work, causing financial strain on the company and tremendous pain for the employee.
A Healthy Workplace is a Productive Workplace
The objective of ergonomics is to create a healthy environment that promotes efficiency in work. And while avoiding medical problems is an obvious bonus, the goal of ergonomics is to create a productive and efficient staff. Good ergonomics create more streamlined processes that make for a more efficient employee and work flow.
Ergonomic products may seem pricey, but they reflect a great investment with solid returns in would-be hidden costs. And Knoll has quite a few tips you can utilize today that will improve posture, reduce eyestrain and create a better workday:
- Elbows should dangle at the same height as your keyboard, with your forearms parallel to the floor. Adjust your chair height to match.
- Rest your eyes. For every 20 minutes of work staring a screen, rest your eyes by looking at something in the distance with a soft gaze for 20 seconds. And don’t forget to blink while you’re working.
- Get up and move. Varying your posture throughout the day will improve the way your back feels. While it’s not easy to practice perfect posture for 8 hours straight, it is easy to get up and do a lap around the office during your breaks.
For more tips and information on ergonomics, visit Knoll.com.