How to Bring Ergonomics into the Physical Work Environment for Employee Wellness
Ergonomics in the workplace has been embraced by many employers who want the best for their employees. Humans were not made to sit on office chairs for eight hours a day but to be physically active. By using ergonomic strategies, the office environment can be rendered more supportive of employee wellbeing. Here are some tips to get your company moving in the right direction.
Decrease Lower Back Pain
Multiple factors can lead to back pain. However, one aspect that causes back ache in employees is the chair that they use at work. A suitable chair should:
- Be adjustable
- Be able to conform to body size and shape
- Have a backrest to lean back against rather than having to bend forward
- Allow both feet to be kept flat on the floor
- Place knees at the same height as the hips
- Have a seat wide enough for the employees to sit in comfort
Put an End to Eye Strain
Eye strain is characterised by dry, painful eyes, blurry vision, and headaches. This can lower productivity and result in staff members taking time off work. Employees may be subject to eye strain if they spend long periods of time in front of a computer. The risk of eye strain can be lessened by:
- Determining the optimal distance from the screen. Usually this is equivalent to the length of the arm when measured in a seated position.
- Ensuring that room and screen lighting are not too glaring and that they provide sufficient light.
- Eliminating any glare caused by light reflecting off the screen, e.g., from windows.
- Not having to move the body to an angle to avoid glare or brightness.
- Relaxing the eye muscles every 15 to 20 minutes. This can be achieved by focussing the eyes on an object a body length away.
Place the Computer Correctly to Avoid Eye Strain and Back Ache
Ensure that employees’ computers are correctly positioned. This will help to reduce both back ache and eye strain. The top of the computer screen needs to be in line with the eyes when seated. It should be at a distance of one arm’s length. The keyboard must be aligned with elbow height and placed directly in front of the employee. Employees should ensure that the mouse is in line with the shoulder. It should not require the employee to have to reach out.
Decrease Respiratory Disease
The air flow inside most buildings is not clean enough for staff to breathe in without risking their health. Many respiratory diseases, such as asthma and respiratory infections, are the result of poor air flow at work. This stale air contains germs, allergens, mould, and toxic compounds which circulate in a closed system. When one employee gets sick, others are bound to follow. You can keep the air supply in your building flowing and bring in fresh air while dispelling stale air when you install a commercial ventilation system. You can find out more here.
Use ergonomic standards to provide optimal working conditions for your employees.