What is Ergonomics and Why is it Important in Your Work?

If you have a regular white-collar job, or a work-from-home set-up, chances are you dedicate a good chunk of your day to sitting while you finish your job. However, this position takes a toll on your body, especially if your body is always slumped and you are sitting on a very uncomfortable chair.

It is important to realise that you do not have to put your body under so much strain even as you work. Hence, it would be best to familiarise yourself with ergonomics and how you can use it to choose optimal office furniture, whether if you have a company office or a dedicated home office.

Ergonomics is the study of how one can make a workplace more efficient concerning its effects on the human body. It views the workplace as a system and tries to analyse how its various elements can affect a person’s mind and body. In simpler terms, ergonomics aims to adjust the workplace based on the needs of the employee. Ergonomics is a discipline that applies various theories and physiological knowledge to ensure that whatever modifications conducted in a workplace is evidence-based.

Office work involves a lot of sitting and a lot of bending your spine. Doing these in the long-term can lead to chronic health risks. But ergonomics aims to reduce its possibility.

The goal of ergonomics is to maximise your work environment. This goal involves choosing office furniture and equipment that best suit your responsibilities. Maximising your work environment involves not having to sacrifice your body to be productive with your work. Properly utilising ergonomics ensures that you are comfortable and driven as you finish your work outputs.

  • Choose a chair that provides lumbar support. Having a comfortable chair with lumbar support prevents back pains and can aid you with your posture.
  • Optimise your equipment based on the software that you usually use. Different software requires different hardware priorities. If you specialise in encoding data, then you should look into good numeric keyboards. If you specialise in graphic design, then you should focus on mouse position and screen size.
  • Do eye breaks and exercise breaks. Constantly looking at your computer screen can be straining and drying to your eyes. Prolonged sittings may also lead to potential health risks. Try to rest your eyes by following the 20-20-20 rule and try to stand and do some stretches and mild exercises after a long period of sitting.

This statement means that some people may use it to serve their agenda. Remember that some salesmen may try to sell items under ergonomics’ guise, but these people may have little to no training in the field. It is important to search if the person is a certified professional Ergonomist or if they can back their claims with actual training certificates.

Many of us probably have computer workstations that may not be conducive to our body’s safety and wellbeing. However, ergonomics aims to improve this by utilising evidence-based solutions. You may want to evaluate your workstation or consult a certified ergonomist to maximise your safety and productivity.