September 25, 2023
Ergonomics, which involves designing and arranging elements to maximize efficiency, comfort, and safety, influences all aspects of our daily routines. It shapes our workplace environment, from the chairs we sit in to the machinery we operate and even the arrangement of our computers on our desks. A study by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries revealed that “ergonomic workstations resulted in a 75% reduction in lost workdays for employees and a 68% reduction in workers’ compensation costs.” This same study also found that “reducing ergonomic risk factors prevented costly musculoskeletal disorders by almost 60%.” Embracing ergonomic principles benefits employees and employers by mitigating workplace injuries.
Musculoskeletal disorders are prevalent work-related injuries that often result from unfavorable working conditions. Ergonomics plays a pivotal role in averting the development of these disorders.
Exploring the concept of ideal ergonomics across diverse workplace environments provides valuable insights. Many individuals work in traditional corporate office settings. Forbes Health highlights five key areas of an office setup that enhance health and well-being while promoting comfort and productivity: your chair, desk, monitors, lighting, keyboard, and mouse all make an impact. Research indicates increased lighting levels can boost productivity, while an ideal desk height should allow elbows to form a 90-degree angle. Chairs should offer ample back support, and feet should comfortably rest on the floor.
In contrast, some spend their workdays in manufacturing warehouses, where ergonomic considerations differ significantly from standard office settings. In manufacturing, elements to consider include the impact of wheels on machine mobility, cart handling, ladder usage, extension pole accessibility, designated safety zones, and proper lifting techniques. These concepts have been integrated into the manufacturing field to prevent injuries and enhance productivity.
Ergonomics helps create a more conducive work environment. Even minor adjustments to your workspace can yield substantial improvements to your overall work experience.