Our Pillars - Ergonomics

Is he sitting comfortably?

Is he sitting comfortably?

Today, more than ever, we spend a large part of our lives sitting down.

According to a recent survey by Fellowes, 81 per cent of UK office workers spend between four and nine hours each day sitting at their desk, equating to an average of 67 sedentary days per person each year.

Many employees regard spending hours on a chair in front of a computer screen as a daily part of their routine, but our bodies were not designed to stay in such positions for long periods of time.

Research has shown reduced blood flow in people who spend prolonged periods of time sitting, leading to muscle tensions, pain, inflammation, weight gain, and limited mobility.

There is increased risk for developing poor back posture, which can lead to pressure on the neck and shoulder, or even, in more severe cases, musculoskeletal disease. All of this translates into lower productivity and absences for the employer.

Ergonomics is sometimes overlooked by employers when considering potential health hazards, as injuries caused by poor ergonomics are not as obvious as injuries caused from falls or fires.

However, interest in increasing in ergonomics as more recognise it can lead to a healthy and more productive workforce.

An ergonomic office is about designing workspaces that are suitable for the people who use them, placing the human at the heart of the environment.

Examples of good ergonomics are adjustable-height desks which allow users to switch between a sitting and standing position, and chairs that allow for seat height and depth adjustment support various sitting positions.

Also think wrists and back support, and monitors and screens that are adjustable in terms of height and distance from the viewer.

Apart from minimising risks for injury, ergonomics is also good for business.

Most workers who feel at ease at their workplaces tend to perform their tasks with a positive attitude and motivation, which leads to improved performance and higher quality of output.

We all owe it to ourselves to increase our awareness and investment in sound ergonomics, using proper work practices and processes to improve overall comfort and productivity.

The Wellbeing Experience (TWE) in London will showcase this and the other eight pillars that affect the human body in the built environment, when it opens this summer.

We are working with business furniture solutions provider Senator Group to ensure the exhibition showcases the best in good office ergonomics and are grateful for their support. You can find out more information by visiting www.thesenatorgroup.com/uk