The workplace layout has a profound impact on our health and wellbeing and poor design can lead to tired and injured employees with decreased productivity. In a modern office, it’s imperative to apply ergonomics or the study of people’s efficiency in their work environment to avoid injury and ensure optimum output.
Common problems at workplace
Employees and especially those with desk jobs usually suffer from injuries and illnesses due to the nature of their work and poor ergonomics. Some common workplace injuries and ailments include:
- Back injuries
Back pain and slipped disc afflict a large number of workers across the globe. They are caused by daily activities like sitting in one position for long hours at end and poor posture.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
This condition is a result of performing the same repetitive action such as typing.
- Eye dysfunction
Looking at a computer screen for continuous, lengthy periods can also result in poor vision and degeneration of the eye.
Ideal set up for a workstation
The purpose of an ergonomic plan is to design the workplace to suit the employee, depending on the nature of the job and their physique. Some of the basics of workplace ergonomics include:
- Ideal chair
An ergonomic chair’s design is meant to keep the employee feeling comfortable through the course of every workday. Features like the backrest and seat depth adjustment allow ease and efficiency.
- Level of a desktop to prevent strain on the neck
To prevent neck pain, it’s advisable to place the computer monitor right in front of the employee. While typing the wrists shouldn’t bend and elbows must be at a 90-degree angle.
Cause of pain without injury at the workplace
Workers can be prone to discomfort even due to regular functions and activities at work. Actions like slouching in a chair, repetitive actions and fatigue lead to pain in the back and neck without any obvious injury.
Repetitive stress on muscles and joints
A safe and secure workplace can also result in stress and injury when task repetition meets other factors such as poor posture. The undue pressure on joints and burden on muscles and tendons can even result in major injury and damage.
Tips to avoid work-related injuries
By following work ergonomics, an organization can ensure a safe working environment for its employees. On their part, workers can also avoid back and neck injuries by following some basic tips:
- Sit with support
When sitting in front of the desk, use a backrest and ensure that your feet are firmly planted on the floor. This posture ensures that your weight is placed on your sitting bones and also prevents any slouching.
- Change your position frequently
It is advisable not to remain in one position, seated or standing for over 20 minutes. Keep moving at regular intervals to keep your muscles and joints fluid.
- Control mobile phone usage
Prolonged texting and answering emails using your phone cause your neck to bend forward. Using a desktop for the same tasks ensures better posture.