Ergonomics is a term that gets thrown around a lot when talking about workstation setups. But why? What does it even mean? Is it actually beneficial or just another thing on the checklist?
The value of ergonomic workstations goes beyond meeting occupational safety and health requirements. Ergonomic adjustments can prevent strain and overuse injuries that lead to (sometimes chronic) backaches and muscle pain.
A small investment in ergonomic workstations can pay massive dividends in employee productivity and fewer medical claims. Read on for seven easy ways to improve the ergonomics of your workstations.
Ergonomics is about setting yourself and your team up for success by optimizing performance. It takes into consideration a ton of factors: height, stability, lighting, legroom, and more.
So, what goes into an ideal ergonomic workstation?
Having the proper width and depth for the task at hand is a must-have for all workstations. There should be enough space for all tools and materials. When workers have to hold on to something to keep it from falling on the floor or leave their station to get a tool they need, it slows the work down, causes frustration and makes the entire job more challenging.
Workstations must be stable and sturdy, able to bear the heavy load of any project without shaking or swaying.
When tools are not in use, they shouldn’t be teetering on the edge of the workstation or sliding around. They need to be fastened down, hung or stowed somewhere convenient but out of the way.
Installing the proper lighting is an overlooked, but highly effective way to make a workstation more ergonomic. Lighting reduces eye strain and improves efficiency.
Without enough light, minute adjustments and small tasks like threading a needle are needlessly time-consuming.
Good lighting is especially important if you have workers 40 or older (the age at which our eyes start to weaken). A typical 50-year-old needs twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old.
This is two points rolled into one. Not only does a workstation need enough legroom, but it also needs a chair that enables dynamic sitting to make sure legs don’t cramp up. A comfortable, adjustable chair and sufficient legroom can make the longest days feel much more manageable.
An ideal workstation should be easy to reconfigure and upgrade. When you choose a customizable workstation, you won’t have to waste time or money replacing equipment when operational needs change.
The height of the workstation should be infinitely adjustable to match the height of the team member using it. If your workstations are used by different team members throughout the day, make sure employees know how to make adjustments to fit their body size and task.
Setting up the ideal ergonomic workstation can feel like an unnecessary chore, but you’ll quickly recoup the time you spend in increased productivity and fewer employee injuries.
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