Ergonomics and Ergonomic Services
Good ergonomics cost! But poor ergonomics cost a lot more. If you run a company in any way, it is in your interest to ensure that your biggest assets, your employees, are putting the best into their work. Ask yourself, how productive are you when your attention is more on a throbbing headache, a stabbing pain in your back, a crippling tightness around your neck, rather than your work? Mistakes happen, but can you afford to have costly mistakes simply because the attention of your employees was not on the detail of their work, but on finding an adequate sitting position for themselves?
What if you work for yourself or work from home? Do you really want to sacrifice on your proper seating position and end up paying for your frugality with aches, pains, time off work and multiple appointments to specialists?
Good ergonomics is the concept of having the work environment suited to your needs; needs that are determined by the nature of your task, your stature and any ongoing ailment or temporary situation that directly or indirectly affects your performance at work. Good ergonomics is not about buying an expensive product and all will be fine. Good ergonomics is not a question of buying the latest gadget or expensive furniture. Good ergonomics is about having the right fit for your needs. As an analogy, think of your work station as a shoe and you’ll understand better what good ergonomics imply. Just because a shoe comes with a certain price tag or sports a specific brand, it will do nothing to your comfort, productivity and performance in running a marathon if it comes in 2 sizes too small. The same applies with workstation ergonomics; and a marathon it is when it comes to sitting. When one considers all the time spent in sitting both at the office, and also the time to commute, dine, socialize, unwind, and practice some hobbies the average office worker can easily spend 13 hours a day or more in sitting. Can we really expect to have our body contortioned into a dysfunctional posture for all these hours and not expect something to fail? If you constantly suffer from lower back pain, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain , neural symptoms such as carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica that get better when you’re off work but resume after a few days at your desk, you can assume that your ergonomics are poor and your body (You) is going to pay for it.
The key to good ergonomics lies in good posture. By good posture we mean one that allows you to carry out your task in an effective and efficient manner whilst safeguarding your overall wellbeing in both the short and long term. A key factor to good posture is that it needs to be effortless and sustainable. Any posture that requires you to steer your attention away from your work to maintain your posture is not a sustainable nor effective position to adopt. Unfortunately a quick search on the internet as well as many of these fast-fix ergonomic presentations given by inexperienced professionals misses out on the intricacies required for good ergonomics. The result is a re-selling of quick fixes and ‘rules of thumb’ which fail to deliver in the long term and end up leaving the client perplexed as to what to do next since the ‘ergonomics solution’ has seemingly failed.
Good ergonomics is a concept that is applied to the needs of the employee as determined by their task, stature and physical condition. Other than some common sense advice regarding posture, if the pain derived from your sitting persists, we recommend you seek out the help of an expert. Such a professional can match the requirements of your task to the applied biomechanics as set by any ongoing physical ailment. Once the needs of the client are understood, a singular rule that can guide your professional in setting up your work station in an ergonomically sound manner is that the equipment conforms to your needs and not the other way round.
Nowadays we have the luxury to understand that ergonomic concepts can determine not only the quality and level of productivity of your work, but your work itself. In the right hands the applied concepts of ergonomics can help you avoid the negative effects of cumulative microtrauma to the body and safeguard your position in your line of work.