Workstation Ergonomics

Written by Erwann Marshall
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Workstation ergonomics is the scientific study of how the human body relates to a particular work environment, with particular emphasis on the modern office space. This study arose in the early 1900s as more and more office workers began to complain about increased back, neck and wrist pains as well as eyestrains and headaches. However, it was only after chiropractors and experts in the musculoskeletal system began applying a more scientific approach to these problems that the term "ergonomics" began to be properly taken into account in the workplace.

In order to assess what particular elements of workstation ergonomics should be applied, it is a good idea for an office manager to take a casual poll of how each employee is physically feeling at his or her workstation. If there is an overwhelming need for ergonomic chairs, for example, then the manager can look into purchasing a number of them at bulk price. He can then focus in on specific needs for particular job descriptions and take the time to purchase ergonomic products on a case-by-case basis.

Most office managers who apply workstation ergonomics are amazed by the results. Once proper ergonomic chairs, desks and keyboard setups are introduced, common problems like fatigue, absenteeism, work-related injuries and negative attitudes are more likely to disappear. Even the addition of ergonomic education will clue employees that their bosses are interested in their personal health and comfort in the job environment and may inspire mutual respect and a common eagerness to do a good job.

Workstation Ergonomics Means Stepping Away from the Desk

Another overlooked part of workplace ergonomics is to include a schedule of stretching and rests throughout the workday. Stretching increases circulation to the muscles, relieves joints of any undue pressure built up over a long period of time and can prevent future injuries from happening. It is a good idea for office managers to encourage employees to take five to ten-minute breaks every few hours to allow them to refocus their mental energies and return to their jobs with a more positive and constructive outlook.


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