The Five Things You Need to Know about Ergonomics

Ergonomics is not just a word to represent fancy chairs, sit to stand desks and monitor arms. It is a key aspect that businesses need to look at when dealing with their own health and welfare, as well as that of their staff.

1. 95% of an office workers’ day is spent in front of a computer

    • This is why office ergonomics is so important. Office workers spend the majority of their working day sat at their desk, looking at a screen. With an incorrect set-up you place strain on your eyes, back, hands as well as risking time off and productivity. The biggest mistake workers make is to ignore ergonomics.

Our bodies adapt to bad set-ups, which allows and encourages us to slouch and strain to fit our environment. In the long term this common ergonomic mistake can really impact your physical health.

2. Musculoskeletal injuries from poor workplace ergonomics account for 34% of all lost workday injuries and illnesses

    • Musculoskeletal injuries are one of the biggest problems that can arise from sub-par ergonomics, as this statistic shows. One way to help prevent these kinds of injuries is optimising the workplace set-up.

Here are some tips to prevent musculoskeletal disorder:

      • Optimise the arrangement of desk, desk chair, computer in relation to the body
      • Use comfort equipment such as footrests, wrist/palm rests
      • Keep the mouse and keyboard at ergonomic levels to the body
      • Consider ergonomic technologies including keyboards, mouse, monitor arms etc
      • Take regular break intervals between tasks
      • Try regular stretching to relax the body
      • Avoid prolonged exposure to one task

3. Carpal tunnel syndrome accounts for 15% of all workplace injuries

      • It is possible that several tasks contribute to the strain on the nerve at the root of CTS. Working with vibrating tools, jobs which require prolonged or repetitive wrist flexing (at a computer for example) or committing repetitive strenuous exercises have been suggested as potential factors in CTS. While there is no clinical evidence to prove the impact of repeated strain on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome yet, it is widely thought that the above activities could create pressure on the median nerve, or worsen any existing nerve damage.

4. 42% of carpal tunnel cases result in more than 30 days away from work

      • Having to take over a month off work is an unpleasant experience for an employee, and for an employer it’s troubling too. Workplace injuries can lead to injury claims, so creating an ergonomic workplace in line with regulation is vital.

It’s important to stress that prevention is key here; it is much easier to avoid CTS than to treat it. Here are some tips to help you avoid developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at work:

        • Type properly
        • Rest your hands
        • Don’t tilt your keyboard upward
        • Take regular breaks

Top Tip

5. Correct ergonomics can increase productivity by 11%

        • That increase in productivity alone is enough reason to consider ergonomics, but combined with all the above there’s no denying its importance in the workplace.

For more information about ergonomics take a look at our sit-to-stand Workstation specially designed with ergonomics in mind.

*Blog re-published with the kind permission of CMD Ltd.