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Benefits of ergonomics in the workplace

Photo shows workers in an office

How much money does your company invest annually in office furniture? The chairs and desks your employees use could be costing you unnecessary money — especially if they do not promote proper posture or do not allow users to adjust the headrest, armrest and back. In a survey of 250 companies, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries found several benefits provided by ergonomics — the study of worker productivity and safety. Consider improving your office furniture as you bring these benefits to your company today.

Reduce Injuries

When you're forced to sit in an uncomfortable position all day, you could experience pain in your neck, shoulders, wrists, arms and back. Employees also complain of numbness, tingling, difficulty moving, stiff joints and muscle loss when their workstations are not ergonomic.

This pain is the first step toward a potential injury. Carpal tunnel, back disc deterioration and headache are three of several chronic injuries that can occur because of poor posture. By investing in ergonomic office furniture, you can reduce these injuries and keep your workforce safe and healthy.

Improve Productivity

Employees who sit in uncomfortable chairs or who have to strain to see their monitors will not be as productive as employees who are comfortable. It will take them longer to perform their jobs, and they may take more time off due to injuries.

Efficiency is another productivity perk of ergonomic workstations. The chair, desk and computer are at the correct height, everything is within easy reach, and employees can do more work with fewer motions. Productivity will boom thanks to ergonomics.

Enhance Employee Engagement

By providing ergonomic workstations, you show employees that you're invested in their health and wellness. They will be more willing to work hard and do their best because they know you care.

Ergonomics also help to reduce discomfort and fatigue. It's impossible to give your best effort when you're in pain. As a natural result, ergonomics improves morale and lowers turnover and absenteeism. When employees are healthy and in the office, they can be engaged and focused on the task at hand.

Create a Better Safety Culture

Safety is a core value of your company, but it's more than fire drills and safety signs. It also includes employee comfort, posture and safety while they answer phones, type reports and meet clients. Improve the safety culture at your company with ergonomic workstations.

Your employees are more likely to sit straight and not slouch or strain, and they are less likely to suffer an injury when they use ergonomic chairs, desks and equipment. Plus, they know you are invested in their health, and healthy employees are your most valuable asset.

Reduce Costs

Maybe the cost of new desks and chairs has kept you from making the investment. You may not be able to afford workers compensation claims that arise from neck, shoulder, wrist and spine strain, though. Absenteeism and productivity decreases cost your company money, too. Also, the average health care cost for adults is $4,475. However, a study reported by the Journal of Pain found that the average health care costs for people with moderate pain increase to $8,991.

In the long run, investing in ergonomic workstations reduces your costs. It assists your employees in staying healthy, present and focused at work, and it cuts health care and workers compensation claims. Everyone wins.

Improve Work Quality

Employees who are tired, frustrated or in pain will not do their best work. They may make simple mistakes, take longer to perform tasks, or mentally check out as they deal with the pain they feel on a regular basis.

The right ergonomics can improve work quality. Your employees will be able to sit at their desks and stay focused and comfortable for longer periods of time, and they are less likely to make mistakes.

Your staff makes or breaks your business. Invest in their health when you improve ergonomics. The investment provides you with several benefits and will pay for itself. It's definitely something you should consider today. Your employees, customers and bottom line will thank you.


Author Bio:

Joel Vento is President of Sales and Marketing at Concept Seating. Vento brings over 20 years of experience to Concept Seating, leading to the creation of several products — including the 3150 Operator Chair. Concept Seating produces 24-hour dispatch chairs and office task chairs for a variety of industries. 

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This is great for people in the office, but what about in factories too? I think RSI and fatigue is a greater risk there and things like anti-fatigue mats and ergonomic stations can help. Thoughts?

Great job, Joel! Nowadays it is actually a must: all the companies should invest a not-so-big amount of money in order to improve their employees quality of life... Yet there's still a lot of work to do...