The Shape of the Workplace: Ergonomic Solutions for Business

shutterstock_149099213Today’s post is from my friends at SocialMonsters.org. I wanted to publish this because health and fitness in the office work environment is very important. 
Everything, it seems, is computerized. Our activity levels at work (and maybe at home, too) are low, but the incidence of repetitive stress injuries is high. Add to that the confusion of trying to figure out our medical insurance, and it pays to invest in ergonomic and health-oriented solutions to support the workforce of the average office. But where do you start?
Ever since the ’90s boom of the modern computer in the workplace, repetitive stress injuries (RSI) or occupational overuse syndrome (OSS), especially carpal tunnel and neck and back stress injuries, have been a common complaint. Some statistics show that nearly 70 percent of employees suffer from OSS in some capacity. Luckily, incorporating an ergonomic program can drastically reduced these numbers.

The Right People

If the business is small enough, many times you can either make some changes on your own or hire a consultant to come and evaluate your situation and make recommendations. Do a Google search for a company near you that offers ergonomic training to determine your current status and risk, as well as teach you what changes can be made to dramatically improve the quality of your workplace. They can train your employees on proper procedures and safety tips and help you plan, organize and manage your ergonomic needs across all aspects of your business. They also hold regular seminars where employees and owners alike can go and learn about the do’s and don’ts of the workplace.

The Right Stuff

The concept of an ergonomically proficient office environment encompasses more than just replacing a few keyboards and making sure you are focusing on the right aspects for your business. In a manufacturing company, for example, knowledge can be as important as equipment. While implementing things like a rubberized floor to lessen impact and reduce stress on the lower back can definitely help prevent repetitive injuries, making sure employees know the rights and wrongs regarding movement such as lifting and transportation can make all the difference.
Office buildings, on the other hand, don’t have to worry as much about the manual labour aspects of ergonomics. There, the focus should be on equipment and posture. Everything from the correct chairs and desks to glare-reducing monitors can not only help prevent workplace repetitive injuries, but increase performance as well. Companies like Wayfair can provide solutions to fit every company and employee. Remember, everyone is different and taking the extra little time and effort to fit each person’s workspace to their needs can affect health, morale, and the bottom line.
The simple truth is, health affects performance. Not only do employees who feel cared for and have an ergonomically-geared environment work longer, harder and more efficiently, but they take fewer work days off and have fewer medical expenses. Businesses can’t operate if their employees are constantly gone, and employees can’t operate if they are constantly injured. Taking the time and money to invest in a healthy environment will always pay off in the end.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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