Ergonomic Diagram

This diagram, courtesy of Workrite Ergonomics, shows proper alignment of the spine and body in a workplace setting.

As we become more educated about the workplace and it’s effects on the human body, we have come to see an increase in awareness in wellness and ergonomics at the office. Companies are trying to minimize their risk with work-related injuries and also accommodate the needs of their employees. While most small business owners are reactive to wellness issues in the workplace, there are low cost ways to be proactive, keep employee engagement high and reduce sick time taken as a result of illness or injury on the job.

The first step on the path to a healthy workplace involves educating your employees how to use the tools that are provided for them. A desk is more than just a place to do work. With the right tweaks and understanding how they prefer to work, an employee can minimize or even eliminate discomfort by how they layout their desk and things on it. Keeping frequently accessed items within arms reach and pushing files rarely accessed farther away, strain on the body is reduced.

Adjusting their task chair appropriately to the workspace can also make work more comfortable. There are endless options of seating out in the marketplace, but furniture has gotten smarter over time and you can expect a chair that is intuitive and moves with the body to offer support. Purchasing the right chair will do your organization no good unless the people using the chair are trained how to properly adjust the seating. Ask your furniture provider to come in and demonstrate how the chair works to the people using it and offer ergonomic guidance.

Promoting movement throughout the day keeps employee engagement high and helps to minimize discomfort and pain. For many organizations this can be as simple as having walking meetings, or for others adding treadmill desks
to the work environment for associates to use while working on their tasks for the day. Alternate postures encourage employees to move throughout the day and not only help physiologically, but also spark innovation.

Sit to stand accommodations have also become more prevalent in the workplace. Allowing employees the option to choose to sit and stand , or split their time during the day can minimize pressure on the spine and improve circulation. Sit to stand can be accomplished by incorporating a height adjustable desk for each person, or can be accomplished in collaborative spaces designed for standing meetings.

Organizations can minimize risk by adapting their approach to wellness and ergonomics in the workplace. Careful consideration should be given to how associates engage with the interiors environment and what can be done to make the space health minded. The proactive approach allows business owners to minimize the risk of work related absences and injuries.