Office Ergonomics

Written by Erwann Marshall
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Any office manager worth his salt should educate himself on the proper application of office ergonomics. Most doctors and chiropractors will say with certainty that improper posture is the leading cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, eyestrain and serious office-related injuries. By applying ergonomics to the office, a manager can help his employees function more efficiently and comfortably throughout the workday.

There are a few main points to tackle regarding office ergonomics, as well as a few myths regarding posture. One overriding rule to ergonomics is that if an office worker feels uncomfortable sitting at his desk, it is likely he is not in a healthy seating or typing position. Interestingly enough, and contrary to the traditional "sit up straight" rule of posture, it is actually better to have an office chair set to a reclined position than at a straight, vertical 90° angle.

It is up to the manager to learn and then teach office ergonomics to his employees and to provide consistent education about proper use of new ergonomic technologies throughout the year. Merely purchasing an ergonomic piece of equipment does not guarantee a better position. It has to be personally adjusted to each worker's particular height, leg and arm length and should be checked every few months for stability.

Office Ergonomics Means Treating People as People

In the past, managers and business owners treated people more like machines than individuals with physical needs. Today's ergonomics, on the other hand, take into account that humans need rest breaks, time to stretch out and an opportunity to change to a different task every once in a while. A good office manager should allow these breaks and help a worker towards reducing injuries, increasing energy and maintaining a more positive, constructive and consistent work pace throughout the day.

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