What is Ergonomics and Why is it so important in the Office and Workplace?
Ergonomics is a science that deals with designing and arranging things so that people can use them easily and safely.
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most common causes of lost time injuries and illnesses in the workplace and is one of the reasons why office ergonomics is so important.
Work activities that are frequent and repetitive or activities with awkward postures contribute to MSDs such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome and tension neck syndrome.
The benefits of well-designed ergonomic equipment includes decreased injury, illness, and workers’ compensation costs, as well as, increased efficiency, decreased absenteeism, employee turnover and increased employee engagement.
Is Sitting a Disease?
The term ‘Sitting Disease’ is a new phrase which has gathered increasing interest for employers and employees alike and while sitting is not actually a disease, sitting as an activity for prolonged periods of times does have significant adverse health risks.
Changes in our metabolism are caused by prolonged sitting referred to as Metabolic Syndrome. An enzyme, lipoprotein lipase which resides in the blood vessels is essentially turned off when we are inactive. The enzyme is responsible for metabolizing fats and sugars in the blood stream. Lack of movement lowers enzyme activity which in turn contributes to weight gain, diabetes and reduction of the good cholesterol, HDL.
In contrast, when we engage in physical movement the opposite occurs stimulating enzyme activity which improves cholesterol and helps regulate blood sugar.
The good news is that everyday movement such as standing, walking and stretching every hour throughout the day seems to have a greater effect on lipoprotein lipase enzymes than exercising an hour per day but sitting the rest of the day. In summary, too much sitting is not cancelled out by one daily session of physical activity.
The Benefits of Office Ergonomics
People are the most valuable asset of any business and the creation and implementation of effective policies and ergonomic workstations showcases your company’s commitment to safety and health.
Leading companies around the world are implementing ergonomic work place solutions and reaping the rewards of increased productivity and creativity!!