Promoting healthy ergonomics is one of the simplest ways to keep your workforce healthy and productive. In particular, the increasing number of desk jobs and the corresponding increase in hours spent sedentary puts a significant focus on ergonomics.
Promoting proper ergonomics can prevent worker injuries, absences, and lack of productivity associated with discomfort. In short, proper ergonomics means healthier, happy workers and a better workplace overall.
Ergonomics on a Budget
- Posture is everything, and it’s free. Encourage desk-bound workers to sit with their feet flat on the floor and not to round their shoulders forward and slouch. Sitting up straight is ergonomically advantageous and will prevent discomfort such as tight back muscles and back pain.
- Keep a level head. Workers who routinely tilt their head down, up, or jut it forward experience a variety of ailments. From neck pain to clenched jaws to headaches, head position is the most natural ergonomic fix with the most drastic results.
- Microbreaks are all it takes. Taking a few minutes to stand up, stretch, walk to the bathroom or move around once every hour is all it takes to help boost circulation. That is enough to flush out inflammation that can develop from prolonged sitting and poor ergonomics, and inflammation build up is what leads to injury over time.
- The standing (or convertible) desk that allows sitting or standing is an ideal ergonomic option that combats sedentary desk work. Standing burns far more calories than sitting, encouraging a healthier worker weight.
- The split keyboard is highly recommended ergonomic solution, especially for workers with more narrow shoulders, as this type of keyboard allows for the mouse to rest closer to the body. That tends to alleviate discomfort in the shoulder, arm, and back of the mousing hand.
- A supportive chair is an excellent ergonomic solution for workers prone to hip or back discomfort. Chairs should be adjustable to ensure the worker can sit with their feet flat on the floor, their hips at or slightly above knee height, and their lower back supported.
- Alternative seating is another ergonomic option suitable for some workers. For example, sitting on an exercise ball, a stool, or a wiggle seat encourages core strength.
Ergonomic evaluations are an excellent idea for any organization. As each worker is unique, so is their ergonomic need, it is the best way to assess each worker and ensure proper ergonomics are in place.