Ergonomics is a term that is used to describe the process of arranging or designing workplaces, systems and products in a manner that fits in with the people that use them. This means that, for example, an ergonomic chair is designed to fit your body, ensuring you adopt the correct posture when you are sitting down. This is incredibly important if you spend all day sitting at your desk. Ergonomic workplaces are vital for enhancing productivity while also boosting health and safety. With that in mind, read on to discover some of the suggestions you can follow to make your workspace more ergonomic.
Encourage your employees to have regular breaks from the screen – Noticeable eye fatigue can happen as a result of looking at a computer display all day long. In order to lower the stress that is placed on your eyes, encourage all workers to look away from the monitor every 15 minutes or so. Whether this means looking outside of the window or the clock on the office wall, it does not matter, so long as they change focus to something in the distance. This will give their muscles a chance to relax. You should also encourage your employees to stand up and move around regularly too. Once an hour, make sure they feel comfortable enough to stand up and have a little walk around for a few minutes. This could be to look out the window, get a drink, or simply to stretch their legs. This is vital for their health, yet a lot of workers may feel like you will assume they are slacking if they get out of their seat every hour, so make sure they realize that this is something you not only approve of, but encourage.
Reduce repetitive movement – You need to make an effort to reduce repetitive movement, as this is one of the main causes of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), as well as other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). It does not matter whether the person in question is applying perfect ergonomic principles or not, if they are repeating the exact motion again and again it is going to result in stress, and this is eventually going to lead to injury. So, how can you help your employees to combat this and create a more ergonomic workplace? The answer to this solution is to change tasks regularly. Make sure your employees switch to different tasks, even if only for a very short space of time, so that they are not using the same muscles and putting the same parts of their body under stress. Of course, there may be cases whereby this is simply not possible. If that is the case, make sure your employees periodically alter the neutral position they are using, for example, they may go from a upright sitting position to either reclined sitting or standing.
Don’t overlook the environment setting – This is something that is often overlooked when it comes to ergonomics. We only tend to think of ergonomics on an individual basis, such as an ergonomic chair or desk. However, you need to think about the overall working environment. This includes everything from conveniences and lighting to humidity and temperature. With regards to temperature, this can be tricky, as everyone has different preferences. However, you need to try and keep the room as comfortable as possible. Colder temperatures need to be avoided in order to stop MSD injuries especially. With regards to lighting, make sure there is as much natural light flooding into the office as possible. Not only this, but you need to ensure there is a variety of light sources, rather than focusing on one overhead light. It is also imperative that glare does not generate on the desktop screens in the office because of the lighting. Softer light systems will help you to make sure that this is not the case.
Consider under the desk keyboard trays – One way you can boost ergonomics in your workplace is to purchase an under desk keyboard tray. Make sure you choose an adjustable tray. Unlike standard trays that simply pull in and out of the desk, meaning the worker has to adapt to suit them, these trays can be pulled up above the desk and down below it, meaning workers can be comfortable and type in a manner that suits them. This also means that your employees can switch between standing up and sitting down while they are typing too.
Adjustable desks and chairs – Last but not least, the importance of adjustable desks and chairs cannot be ignored. To encourage a neutral body position and good posture, adjustable equipment is of paramount importance. The more positions a desk or chair can adjust to, the better, as the more tailored these items can be to the person that is using them. One size most certainly does not fit all when it comes to ergonomics.
If you follow the advice that has been provided, you can make your workspace much more ergonomic. This will help to boost the safety levels of all your employees, ensuring there are less sick days in the process. Not only this, but productivity levels will heighten too. After all, there is nothing like feeling uncomfortable to make your efficiency levels take a dip. So, embrace adjustable desks and chairs, and under the desk keyboards, and make sure your workers are encouraged and feel comfortable in taking regular breaks from their seats and their screens.