The Secret to Better Workplace Ergonomics

Warehouse employee aching in back pain

Create an office environment with better ergonomics in just five easy steps 

The goal of office ergonomics is to design workstations that allow for maximum productivity and efficiency. In the long run, this will help promote a safer, more efficient culture that protects employees from fatigue and discomfort. To achieve this goal, you’ll need the right equipment, a proper layout, and a thoughtful strategy. 

In this post, we’ll break down the importance of ergonomics in the workplace and show you what you need to do to make your work environment the best it can be. 

How to Improve Ergonomics in the Workplace

Improving office ergonomics is not a difficult process. And when that process is executed properly, you’ll have the luxury of multiple benefits, including:

  • More employee comfort
  • Higher levels of productivity
  • Low risk for work-related injuries

The path to long-term success is predicated on these five simple steps:

1. Understand Workplace Ergonomics 

By definition, ergonomics is defined as a design process that ties the capabilities of your workforce to its specific working environment. To put it simply, it’s a relentless pursuit and continuous effort to design the workplace for what people do well. 

When you introduce ergonomics into your office, you are focused on three primary factors:

  • The design of the equipment
  • The layout of your work environment
  • The health, safety, and comfort of your workforce

When all of these things are in line, you are creating a flexible culture that your employees can adapt to. It also eliminates job hassles, mitigates discomfort, and reduces the risk of injury while on the job.

2. Dissect Ergonomic Injuries 

Safety should always be the most important priority, but unfortunately it often takes a back seat when you work in an environment where you have to operate heavy machinery. Ergonomic injuries are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of multiple muscle groups, nerves, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, blood vessels, and spinal disks. 

Notable injury symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Discomfort
  • Burning sensations
  • Irritation
  • Insomnia
  • Stiffness

These disorders don’t just happen overnight. MSDs are linked to long periods of exposure to a series of risk factors. 

The key is building a working environment with better ergonomics to create a safety culture that helps cut down on:

  • Poor Posture: Non-neutral positions impede blood flow and put tension on the joints
    • Forceful Labor: Performing tasks that require frequent gripping, pinching, pushing, pulling, and lifting
  • High Frequency: A combination of tasks requiring forceful labor that often leave people in awkward postures

3. Identify the Risk Factors

An office is often full of ergonomic challenges that you might not be aware of. To eliminate exposure to these risk factors, you must identify and address those ergonomic challenges head on.

This can be accomplished in two easy steps:

Observe the office environment and identify potential ergonomic issues.
Conduct a formal ergonomic risk assessment and document risk sources.

4. Set up the Workstation

Once you’ve identified any existing ergonomic issues, you can then take action in creating a workstation that prevents them. It’s crucial that you support your workstation with tools focused on keeping your eyes on the source, hand within reach of input devices, feet to the floor, and the body to the chair.

5. Choose the Right Equipment

Many of today’s furniture and office technology products are considered ergonomic. So how will you decide what’s most fitting for your workstations?

These resources are most appropriate for you to accomplish tasks at hand:

  • Chairs: Each chair needs adjustable seat height, a titled backrest, backrest tension control, and lumbar support.
  • Adjustable Workstations: An adjustable workstation must offer a large work surface with ample room and height adjustability.
  • Keyboards and Keyboard Trays: Keyboard stations must lie flat and offer low-slope adjustability (25–30 mm).
  • Input Devices: Lengthy cords must be present for charging and workstation relocations.
  • Monitors: Adjustable brightness and contrast are required. Your monitors must feature a flickerless-display and adjustable tilt.
  • Arm Stands: An arm stand needs to be adjustable (18–27 inches) above the seat pan.
  • Wrist Rests: These should be engineered with compressible and soft material to reduce external pressure on wrists.
  • Headsets: All headsets should be digital and offer quick connect–disconnect capabilities.
  • Footrests: Certain equipment requires adjustable footrests measuring from 11 to 18 inches.
  • Task Lighting: Your environment needs an asymmetrical, adjustable lighting structure that reduces shadows and glare spots.
  • Laptops: Support your employees with an external mouse and keyboard that can be modified according to posture changes.

Increase Productivity, Employee Engagement, and Workplace Comfort With ROI Industries

The path to better workplace ergonomics doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s actually one of the many guaranteed benefits that experts at ROI can support you with. We work tirelessly to protect your workers and to eliminate manual material-handling from your day-to-day with the industry’s most advanced technology. Our POWERstand and PALLETPOD solutions are safe to use, flexible, and efficient, and they are comfortable to operate.

Contact us today and discover how the ROI team can help improve the ergonomic principles of your operation.