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We’ve Got Your Back: Try Ergonomics Furniture

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Multiple aspects go into selecting what you purchase for any space you occupy. Whether you are choosing form over function, looking for particular aesthetics, working within the space you have, or a number of other factors, everyone has a list that drives them in their decisions. Ultimately, the products you choose for your business or workspace, should function in specific ways. A key aspect to take into consideration is ergonomics.

What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics takes the capabilities of the employees, mainly physical abilities, and factors those into the workplace conditions. There are multiple ergonomic factors to look at in any given workplace. Ergonomics looks beyond the simplistic approach of a chair being comfortable or a screen being angled correctly, instead, the goal is to optimize the setting to achieve best results. Employee frustration and declining health can be caused by poor posture, repetitive tasks, and forceful movement. But each of these can also be addressed by a thoughtful approach to improving the ergonomics in your physical location.  A few of the many components of ergonomics include biomechanics, kinesiology, and physiology.

Benefits of Ergonomics

While learning the principles of ergonomics can be challenging, the benefits are numerous. While redesigning existing spaces with ergonomics in mind may be an investment, overall your business will see lower costs with a reduction in health related claims.  Approximately 1/3 of workers compensation claims can be attributed to Musculoskeletal Disorders, which are directly linked to Ergonomic deficiencies. This reduction in cost goes beyond the health cost itself, as indirect costs such as lower productivity can be significantly higher. In fact, the investment payoff is found with significantly higher productivity rates and better product quality. Adjustments and supports can directly impact fatigue levels and reduce effort wasted on getting comfortable, because the comfort is provided already. A large benefit gained is employee engagement and loyalty improves when their best interests are taken in mind.

What to Look For and How to Improve

Whether sitting or standing at a desk, creating a space for lounging, or designing tables for consumers, neutral posture is key. According to Ergo-Plus, “Neutral postures are postures where the body is aligned and balanced while either sitting or standing, placing minimal stress on the body and keeping joints aligned. Anything that removes from neutral posture creates tension, discomfort, and fatigue. Creating meaningful opportunities for movement in the workday, through breaks, transitions, or reminders help the bodies natural need to restore energy. Extra attention should be given to motion, in regards to the amount of force used during a task and in making sure movement is efficient. By adjusting work equipment or work surface, force used should be minimal. In regards to eliminating repetitive tasks, expanding the role or rotating assignments assists with improving ergonomics.
When evaluating changes needed it is helpful to discuss with individual employees, to observe work processes, and to evaluate business needs. An ergonomic assessment is also dynamic as your employees change, both personnel wise, but also in their individual health status. Ergonomics should be a continuous point of discussion for management. Additionally, the evaluation for change isn’t enough; adjustments will need to be made for the benefits of ergonomics to apply.

Most workspaces are in need of extra attention to their ergonomics; if you are ready to evaluate yours, contact us at HBi today. We have the resources and the staff to begin working to change your set up for the benefit of your employees and visitors and to help your business or organization grow. Contact us here or at (979) 260-3001.