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Working from 9 to 5 has become a common way of life. The majority of workers spend 95% of their time in the office, sitting in front of their computers, sorting through documents, handling their tasks, and the like. Numerous employees endure enormous physical, psychological, and repetitive stress, leading to the development of many chronic health issues such as muscle pain, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and so much more.
While exercising can aid in reducing the negative effect of sitting for long periods, it’s still not enough to keep employees healthy and happy. Fortunately, many companies have embedded ergonomics into their workplace, allowing them to create a safe and sound environment.
However, not every company out there has introduced good ergonomics in their workplace. If you’re one of those employers and you’re looking to integrate ergonomics in your company, you’re in the right article. Today, we’ll be looking into the benefits of ergonomics and how it can help in creating a comfortable workplace.
What Is Ergonomics?
Before we dive into all the specifics, let’s first define what ergonomics means. Do you aim to improve your company’s core business objectives? Do you aim to have a workforce who is healthy and engaged in what they do? Would you like to reduce the amount of workplace injuries as much as possible? If you answered yes to all those questions, then that means you’re looking into having an ergonomic workspace.
Stemming from the Greek words “ergon” which means work and “nomos” which means laws, Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging a working space, product, or system that fits the worker so that their work is safer and more efficient. By implementing ergonomic solutions in the company, employees can be more comfortable and experience an increase in their productivity.
Poor Ergonomics Leads to Hazards In the Workplace
Having very little to no ergonomic system in the workplace can lead to catastrophic consequences not just for the company, but for the employees as well. Poor ergonomics usually leads to frustrated and fatigued workers. When workers experience fatigue, it can result in a multitude of negative effects, both physically and mentally.
Imagine having employees doing their job from 9 to 5 in non-ergonomic workspaces; most, if not all of them, would feel stressed and exhausted throughout the day. Some may develop bad posture, some may experience repetitive stress injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, some may experience chronic neck pain. Some may even develop an increased risk for more serious health issues.
The discomfort and pain that they feel not only affects the body, but can also hamper their morale and productivity. Additionally, a company with insufficient ergonomics shows that they don’t see their employees as a valuable asset and have no care for their well-being, and thus the employees are more likely to leave the job for something better instead.
Is Workplace Ergonomics Important?
The short answer to this question is yes. Incorporating an effective ergonomics process in the workplace is highly important. When you invest in ergonomics, it reflects on your company’s commitment to health and safety as a core value. Creating and maintaining a culture of safety can aid in lowering the risk of illness cases among employees, reducing absenteeism, and in turn lead to more productive uptime in the office.
What Are The Benefits of Ergonomics in the Workplace?
Having sound ergonomics in the workplace has many benefits for both employees and employers. These health benefits can be demonstrated in many different forms. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Ergonomics Improves Productivity
The success of a business relies on productive employees. By designing a working environment that encourages good posture, less exertion, and fewer motions, it can increase productivity. An office that utilizes ergonomic equipment such as sit-stand desks, comfortable chairs, monitor mounts, and the like can reduce the primary risk factors for MSDs. Since workers experience less pain, they can focus on their task at hand. They’re also more efficient, productive, and have greater job satisfaction.
Ergonomics Reduces Costs
It’s important to note that healthy employees are a business’s most valuable asset. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, MSD cases account for 1/3 of worker injuries and illness cases. Implementing good workplace ergonomics can prevent injuries and protect the employees’ health and safety. It also means that businesses can save on lost workdays, lessen injury claims, and reduce compensation costs. Not only that, but business leaders will also see a greater return of profits and achieve better company performance overall.
Ergonomics Improves Quality
Speaking of better performance, having sound ergonomics in the workplace can reduce employee errors by an average of 67%. When a job is too taxing on a worker, they may not perform to the best of their ability and it could result in their output having quality issues. Reducing fatigue by creating efficient ways to get the job done can improve quality in the workplace.
Ergonomics Improves Employee Engagement
Employees notice when their employers are providing them with the most optimal working conditions. If an employee doesn’t experience discomfort and exhaustion during their workday, it can greatly improve morale. You’ll also see an increase in the employees’ involvement at work the more they feel that they are taken care of by their employers. This can reduce turnover rate, making your business one that others will want to work with.
Ergonomics Creates A Better Safety Culture
Ergonomics will create a safer work environment for workers by removing hazards and improving workstations, therefore producing a place where they can thrive. You’ll also be able to increase awareness in the office and maybe even teach your workers how they can update their spaces with safety in mind. Fostering a safety culture will lead to an overall better human performance in the workplace.
Other Ways To Create A Wellness-Focused Culture For A Better Work Environment
Aside from ergonomics, there are more ways to make working comfortable for each employee. According to the National Institutes of Health, small adjustments in an employee’s day-to-day can lead to improvements both in comfort and productivity. These adjustments can include things such as taking regular breaks, or switching the positioning of a chair, keyboard, monitor with the use of ergonomic products. For further information on ergonomic products, you can check out our guides.
Another adjustment that one can do is to incorporate exercises throughout their workday. Exercising in the workplace can help encourage more movement, improve posture, reduce stress, clear the mind, and improve productivity, among other things. As one incorporates more physical activity through their day, they’ll find that they’ll experience less body pain, allowing them to have better health and a better quality of life.
Some exercises that you can do at work are stretches, aerobic exercises, leg exercises, cardio exercises, and the like. Eye exercises and breathing exercises or meditation are also encouraged.
With these impressive benefits of ergonomics in the workplace, it’s time to bring some change and shift things around. Your investment in ergonomics can set your business apart from others, allowing you and your employees to stay engaged, offer better service, and function better day by day, week after week, year after year.