What was once a fad is now a necessity in the workplace.
But there still seems to be a misunderstanding of what ergonomics is in the workplace.
While new office furniture changes the posture of the staff, there’s more to an employee’s comfort than a new chair. In fact, there’s much more to an ergonomically sound office than posture.
Simply put, ergonomics is the way the workplace and equipment work together to improve the comfort, efficiency, productivity and safety of workers. Thus, standing desks are only a small part of the subject.
According to Public Health Notes, the fundamentals of ergonomics include the following:
- Working in neutral postures
- Always check for proper posture to prevent strain, including in the neck, wrists and hands.
- Reducing excessive force
- Must minimize physical labor since excessive force on joints can lead to injury.
- Keeping everything within reach
- This helps maintain good posture as it prevents unnecessary strain and stretching.
- Working at the proper height
- Height-adjustable furniture caters to varying heights of workers.
- Limiting excessive motions
- To prevent disorder and numbness, avoid repetitive movements.
- Use power tools when necessary.
- Minimizing fatigue and static load
- Static load in the workplace can refer to a task that doesn’t change over time, which can be minimized with breaks and intervals.
- Minimizing pressure points
- Cushioning and anti-fatigue mats relieve pressure points.
- Providing clearance
- Less safety hazards to worry about.
- Moving, exercising and stretching
- An office or workstation should encourage movement.
- Breaks are necessary for mental and physical health.
- The types of stretches needed depend on type of work.
- Maintaining a comfortable environment
- This refers to other factors beyond the workstation that make the environment comfortable, such as natural lighting, space, temperature, ergonomics, etc.