In the days when typists were trained to sit with their backs straight and their feet directly in front of them to capture proper posture, office ergonomics was not really a consideration. In today’s office environment, many workers perform their tasks in a virtual world, spending a majority of the day in front of computer screens, often located in a "cube," of “workstation” and are responsible for multitasking for 10 or more hours a day. As a result, workers are experiencing more stress and work- related injuries of which some are due to poor ergonomics.
Because office ergonomics targets the arrangement of your workspace, productivity and overall quality of daily work can improve and the risk of injury can decrease. While the majority of work- related injuries occur due to falls, improper lifting techniques, repetitive movements and awkward positioning, using approved ergonomic furniture and arranging the workspace to fit the way a person works in the office can alleviate or at minimum eliminate some of the factors that contribute to these injuries.
The most common office-related injuries involve the musculoskeletal, vision and hearing systems. Musculoskeletal injuries that can result from poor ergonomics include bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle strains, tendinitis and tennis elbow. Vision impairments include eye strain; watery, red and swollen eyes; double-vision; headaches due to eye strain; and neck and shoulder pain from poor posture. The inability to concentrate that can be caused by noises from nearby office machines and coworker conversations can result in hearing issues.
Benefits of Ergonomic Office Furniture
Injuries and health problems can develop from office workers spending hours each day sitting in desk chairs and working on computers. The development of more comfortable furniture that also helps prevent injury, is one way this issue is being addressed. There are many benefits to office workers from using ergonomic furniture and practices.