ergonomics sounds like some kind of fungal infection as opposed to the study of people's efficiency in the workplace. It is a term that is thrown around lightly and is not afforded half as much care and concern as it truly warrants. This is an important issue that affects not only the way in which your employees perform, but also the effects their working environment has on their health.
The fact is that sitting down for long periods of time at a desk can have a significant detrimental impact on a person's health if the correct steps are not followed. Even something as simple as taking regular breaks away from the desk is a great place to begin but there is so much more to creating a safer work environment for your staff.
A study in 2008 deduced that over 50% of surveyed university students had experienced pain and discomfort that they attributed to computer use. This means that the potential existed for upwards of 2.5 million students to develop musculoskeletal disorders to the upper body before they had even started working. Imagine how many of those students then went on to work in an office that had poor regulations when it comes to ergonomics, invested in poor quality furniture in order to reduce company spending and didn't allow their employees regular breaks away from their desks.
You may read this and wonder if there are actually businesses out there that operate in such a way and the answer is yes! Far too many in fact, however this doesn't come down to evil bosses who are aware of the risks and simply don't care; it is simply a case of lack of awareness and education in ergonomics. (For the most part)
So How Can Ergonomics Benefit Your Employees and Your Business
Fortunately however there is a wealth of information out there regarding ergonomics and the global workplace is slowly but surely becoming more and more aware of the benefits of investing time and money into exploring the application of safer practices in the office. There is however, much more to it than simply investing in well-designed, quality ergonomic furniture - unfortunately simply sitting on a chair that is designed to accommodate sitting for longer periods of time and reducing the strain it has on your body is not enough. In fact research shows that behavioural cues and regular training are required in order to thoroughly address the ergonomic challenges that the modern office worker faces.
It's not impossible! With a little time and investment you can significantly reduce the risk of your employees developing posture related injuries. It's always very tempting to go for the cheaper option when it comes to investing in office furniture but you will be making the right decision by spending that little bit extra on quality, ergonomic furniture. In fact in the long run it will likely be cheaper for you anyway as while you may be saving money in the short-term by purchasing cheap furniture; they will likely end up falling into disrepair much sooner.