The modern workplace is a lot safer than workplaces of times gone by, but the lack of physical risk to one’s immediate health doesn’t mean that the modern workplace is a risk-free zone. Many people working desk jobs suffer from long-term problems, such as posture issues or lower back and neck problems, due to the nature of the work they do.
There are new technological advances to help reduce the stress and strain, such as dual monitor arms and furniture made of more modern materials, however, combating the long-term damages sustained from desk work requires a complete desk overhaul.
We have detailed these preventative measures here, with our list of ways to improve posture and ergonomics in the workplace.
Chairs are a main offender in the “damage-dealing” department of office-based posture problems, as they hold us up and support our backs and bodies for hours at a time while we work.
A bad chair is more often than not a modern, cheaper chair advertised as “perfect for your office”. These chairs have little to no real back support and lack ergonomic design, which is a key factor you should be looking for in your new office chairs.
Ergonomic design allows for the furniture to work with the shape and movement qualities of your body, to allow for as little as possible to get in the way of your body’s natural movement. Furthermore, the extent of what you stand to gain from a more ergonomically designed chair is substantial, with improved posture, less back and neck pain, and more overall comfort while working.
The next important thing to consider is upgrading your employees’ desks. Old, wooden desks can often be built too low or too high for an employee to comfortably sit at, and rely on the adjustment of the chair your employees use to become the ideal height for your workers. This means they have an effect on the posture of your employees, as they change how much your legs have to be bent and where you sit on the chair to get comfortable.
A standing desk, or its walking counterpart, are two newer products that do away with the chair entirely and either have an employee stand, or have them walk as they work. The benefit behind slowly walking while working is to keep a minimum, background exercise going for hours at a time, which improves blood flow and overall health.
The computer itself is the final leg in this posture-and-ergonomics related journey, and it is just as important as the others.
The angle and height of the computer screen is something that affects how we sit to position ourselves to better see the screen, and more effectively do our work. As you can imagine, people with different body heights tend to need more adjustment on their screens, and have a harder time getting to a comfortable neck position. One remedy to this situation is an adjustable monitor stand for your computer, some brands of which have attachments for laptops, which will allow your employee not only to change the height and angle of their computer screen, but also to clear their desk up and reduce workspace clutter.
These are fairly simple ways to improve the health of your employees, and while some of them may not like the idea of giving up a long-used chair, or standing all day, many of them will appreciate the lessening back pain and overall improvement in comfort.