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How Ergonomics Applies to Office Environments and Productivity

Have you ever asked how many hours a day you find yourself sitting? According to a study, between traveling to and from work, a desk job and relaxing at home, Americans sit an average of 7.7 hours a day!

The computer age has most recently sprung standing and treadmill desks to fight what is called the “sitting disease” of this day and age. The term “sitting disease” refers to the ill effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle. Ergonomics encompasses physical, cognitive, organizational and psychosocial factors that affect workplace wellbeing and productivity. Researchers have examined work environments and found several ways to boost productivity.

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Lighten Up:
By illuminating buildings by natural light and using the newest lighting technologies, productivity spikes in the workplace.According to How Lighting Affects the Productivity of Your Workers, an article by MBA@UNC Staff, working under blue enriched light bulbs keeps workers alert.

Sound Off: Offices are full of noise. Distraction increases when noises are unpredictable and workers lack control over them. Concentration and mood suffer and productivity plummets. Adding sound absorbing materials to walls, repairing or replacing noisy equipment, installing a system that distributes sounds evenly and choosing ambient background sounds will aid higher productivity numbers.

Fresh Air: High carbon dioxide levels are known to reduce concentration. To combat this, improved ventilation can be installed. Adding live green plants to the area will also help improve concentration.

So Good You Can Taste It: A laid back atmosphere where you can snack while you work is one last way to improve work productivity. Most offices provide free coffee, but now healthier food and beverage choices are winning out. Businesses that offer their employees snacks and beverages have a higher percentage of productive and happy employees.

With 2016 right around the corner, keep in mind these ergonomic tips when you’re creating or updating your workspace. If your employer won’t implement these suggestions, you still can! Simple changes such as adding a small plant to your office, packing some snacks and utilizing natural lighting will result in a higher rate of productivity.

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