Why ergonomics is important to the workplace and beyond.

Your silent suffering is costing your company money. The niggly little pains and discomforts that you put up with at work are making you less productive, reducing morale, and are the main reason you’ll take a sickie. And it’s not just your work that suffers – you’re the one who has to live with the pain after hours. It might be a bit of cramping while playing Candy Crush now, but long-term that pain could develop into RSI or carpal tunnel. You’ll suffer the consequences and your boss will be up for Workers Compensation – it’s a lose-lose situation.

How did we get here?

The modern office is a far cry from the freedom our Paleo ancestors had to move as they hunted and gathered. We haven’t evolved to digest a modern diet of “Franken-foods” which are causing us to get sick and fat, and neither have we evolved to sit in a cubicle all day and this is making us sick, fat and sore. The answer isn’t to quit our jobs and return to nature, but maybe we can bring the benefits of nature to the office.

That’s where ergonomics comes in

Ergonomics is about making the workplace fit the worker rather than forcing the worker to fit the workplace. It takes into consideration your body’s natural design and function.

What does this mean for you?

If your job causes physical discomfort or pain, it’s because your environment isn’t right for you. Rather than you putting up with the pain or having to change the way you do things, ergonomics means that the environment you work in can be changed to fit you.

What does this mean for your boss?

Your boss has a legal obligation to look after workplace OH&S, and all the research shows that a healthy workplace leads to a healthy bottomline. Healthy workers are more productive, more efficient and produce better quality work. A healthy workplace has less absenteeism, higher staff retention and improved morale. Each of these has a monetary value and is reason enough to implement ergonomics in your workplace.

Try a Paleo makeover for your office

I don’t mean replacing your desk chair with a tree stump! Fortunately modern man has figured out how to adapt the modern workplace to make you more comfortable and to fit with your body’s natural design. Start with a quality ergonomic chair and desk – ideally a sit-stand desk so you’re not sitting down all day. Then add in ergonomic accessories to provide maximum comfort. Start by setting up your workstation with a monitor support, glare filter and document holder. Then put your body into a better position with a footrest, wrist pad, back support and standing mat. OSA stocks a full range of ergonomic accessories to target all the ergonomic zones.

Ergonomic workplace = healthier life and healthier business

You don’t have to live like a caveman to eliminate the pain of the modern workplace. A few small ergonomic changes to your work environment will take away the pain and make it easier for you to get on with your job. Your increased productivity will result in greater profitability for your company, greater job satisfaction for you, as well as improving your long-term health.

For more information on workplace health and safety, refer to Safe Work Australia