Applying Ergonomics In Your Workplace

Applying The Science Of Ergonomics In Your Workplace



Do you experience stiffness in your shoulders and lower back? How about eyestrain from being constantly in front of a computer monitor?


Most of muscle and skeletal related illnesses in the workplace are results of mismatched physical requirements of a job and the employee hired to do the job. To make these factors match, ergonomics must come to the picture.


The science of ergonomics aims to support maximum performance of people and prevent/minimize injuries due to repetitive tasks. Office workers and manufacturing line attendants are prone to these injuries. If left unattended, these could lead to losses for the company in terms of productivity and injury for the worker, resulting to loss of income.


If you are the owner of a company, devote attention to the well being of your workers. This will pay off in terms of loyalty, improved efficiency due to workers’ high morale, and low turnover of workers due to minimized incidence of injuries.


Be aware of what ergonomics can do for you. Consider the following steps:


  • Office furniture (consisting mainly of the desk and computer station) should be set to standard.


Seventy-six centimeters for desks and seventy centimeters for computer stations are the accepted standard height. When keyboards are placed on top of these stations, this height minimizes wrist, back, shoulders, and neck strain. The top line of the monitor should be at the user’s eye level. It can be slightly lower but not higher.


  • As to chairs, use adjustable ones. Many office furniture manufacturers produce ergonomic chairs. They come with adjustable heights and all five wheels rotate freely.


The seats and backrests are adjustable. Adjust them accordingly for maximum comfort. Manufacturers usually see to it that the chairs are based on human body contours. The hips and knees must be perpendicular when in sitting position. Elbows should be of the same level with the keyboard.


  • Repetitive work is not difficult as far as the human body is concerned. Ideally, frequently needed files should be within reach. However, other employees opt to put their files farther, for this offers an opportunity to stand up and do short walking exercises. Avoid awkward movements when reaching for that file! This may result to muscle strain.


  • Everybody knows how it feels to have uptight muscles. Prolonged strenuous lifts can lead to sore muscles. Keeping arms in hanging position and without support can also result to tired muscles.


When buying chairs, consider those with armrests, wrist supports, and footrests, as well. These features encourage proper blood circulation that contributes to the general healthy well being of the worker. Numbness can be felt as a result of performing repetitive task. Numbness can be an indication of improper support on a particular part of the body. Take the necessary corrective measures immediately.


  • There are consultants or therapists who can give advice for proper body postures in relation to repetitive tasks. The money you pay for consultation will be far less than any injury that may set in.


The main purpose of ergonomics is to provide maximum comfort for the body by way of standard and adjustable office furnishings. The importance of ergonomics bringing in harmony in the workstation cannot be overemphasized.