Ergonomics in the workplace are extremely important. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) encourages employers to pay attention to ergonomics in the workplace to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries to employees. It is so important that your chiropractor may even prescribe a change in your workplace furniture and equipment in order to relieve a number of issues. Not only will using ergonomic furniture and equipment help your posture and relieve pain, it can actually increase your productivity. Ergonomics is most often thought about for people who sit at a desk for the majority of their day but everyone can benefit from improved ergonomics in the workplace.
The easiest and quickest change you can make to provide a more ergonomic work environment is to replace your desk chair with one with extra back support. If a full chair replacement is out of the budget, a back support that secures to your chair will make a difference. The most ergonomic chairs offer adjustable back support for the lower back as well as adjustable armrests and height control. You should test the chair out and experiment with the adjustments until your lower back is well supported, your feet are flat on the floor and your arms rest comfortably on the armrests. Of course if you share an office chair with someone on an opposite shift you will find yourself fixing the adjustments on a daily basis.
For those who stand through their work day there are fewer options to increase ergonomics in the workplace. While there are little options the biggest would be to place a padded floor mat under the main area where you stand. This extra padding will take some of the pressure off your knees and lower back. Reducing the pressure on your joints and back will reduce the amount of pain you are in at the end of the work day.
Computer stations should all be outfitted with ergonomic keyboards. These keyboards are designed to work with the natural curve of your hands and wrists which can reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. If a complete keyboard overhaul is not possible, the keyboards of those who spend the most time in front of a computer should have their keyboards replaced. Another quick and inexpensive change at the computer to make the workplace more ergonomic is to raise the computer monitors so they are sitting at eye level. This reduces strain on the user’s neck as they no longer have to look down the entire time they are working. There are even ergonomic standing computer desks that can be setup for users who do not need to remain seated at their desks all day.
Simple changes to your workplace can make it much more ergonomic and reduce the wear and tear on your body. Overtime these changes will result in a more productive and comfortable employee. Discussing workplace ergonomics with your chiropractor can lead to some easy to implement ideas that will pay off in the long run.