Have you ever wondered why ergonomics is an important consideration? If you are trying to find the answer, don’t miss this article of FittingChairs. Read on to find out the reasons.
What is ergonomics?
Before getting to know why ergonomics is an important consideration, you need to know what is ergonomics first.
Ergonomics is a process used to design or arrange workplaces, products, and systems so that they fit the people who use them.
Most people have heard of ergonomics and think it is something to do with seating or with the design of car controls and instruments, but it is so much more.
Ergonomics applies to the design of anything that involves people, including workspaces, sports and leisure, health and safety.
Ergonomics is best defined as a branch of science that aims to learn about human abilities and limitations, and then apply this to improve people’s interaction with products, systems and environments.
This aims to improve workspaces and environments to minimise risk of injury or harm.
See more: What is ergonomics
Types of ergonomics
There are three types of ergonomics that one needs to understand to figure out how to apply it in the workplace, whether in your own office, warehouse, or for your staff.
Physical ergonomics mainly focuses on how a human’s body responds to the tools and equipment they come into contact with daily.
These tools include desks, chairs, keyboards, and other computer equipment.
They require a specific design to become favorable to a particular working environment.
The most common issues caused by poor physical ergonomics are repetitive strain injuries that come from vibration, sound, light, force, posture, and so on.
This type of ergonomics is the most involved in the workplace.
This is a type of ergonomics that surveys ways in which entire workplaces can be optimized.
It’s also known as macro-ergonomics, focusing on how organizational structures and policies enhance efficiency.
Organizational ergonomics aims at attaining a coordinated work system to help improve both employers and employees businesswise.
Cognitive ergonomics is what designers use as a guideline to ensure good usability.
It’s the study that focuses on how well the capabilities of users match the use of a product while focusing on knowledge of human perception, mental processing, and memory.
It mainly focuses on work activities that emphasize the use of your cognitive components such as calculation and decision-making.
Cognitive psychologists find solutions for workers that have cognitive disorders and frequent failures.
Cognitive disorders such as the reduction in visual and hearing functions result in human errors and this is a leading cause of accidents and injuries, especially in the workplace.
Keep reading to see why ergonomics is an important consideration.
Why ergonomics is an important consideration?
Why ergonomic is important? Ergonomics is important because when you’re doing a job and your body is stressed by an awkward posture, extreme temperature, or repeated movement, your musculoskeletal system is affected.
Your body may begin to have symptoms such as fatigue, discomfort, and pain, which can be the first signs of a musculoskeletal disorder.
Ergonomics aims to create safe, comfortable and productive workspaces by bringing human abilities and limitations into the design of a workspace, including the individual’s body size, strength, skill, speed, sensory abilities (vision, hearing), and even attitudes.
It helps you reduce health risks caused by poor ergonomics.
Effects of poor ergonomics in the workplace
After knowing why is ergonomics important in the workplace, let’s find out how poor ergonomics leads to several serious physical problems.
Negative health consequences
Poor ergonomics can cause MSD, a painful condition that affects the muscles, nerves, tendons, and tendon sheaths.
One of the most common MSDs is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a condition where a nerve in a specific passageway is pinched and causes symptoms like numbness, sharp pain, and tingling.
Back injuries are also likely to happen due to poor ergonomic
Working with the wrong lighting for many hours causes headaches.
Poor ergonomics can also cause dry eyes, eyestrain, neck pain and other injury in your body.
Nagging physical issues or even minor injuries can cause an employee to make maximum use of their sick time.
It causes disruptions and affects productivity, especially if a high-skilled employee decides to take sick leave.
When employees are exposed to poor working conditions like a stuffy room and poor lighting, their attitude towards work becomes negative.
The morale of the entire workforce can be affected.
Benefits of good ergonomics
Here are the benefits of good ergonomics in the workplace:
Improves employee productivity
Employees who work in an organization that makes use of ergonomic equipment and well-designed workplaces work at a faster pace and making few errors.
They will have a more positive attitude towards work and higher energy levels.
A well-designed workplace for your employees is a benefit to the entire organization.
When proper ergonomics are applied, the employees are less fatigued and rarely frustrated.
They can perform their best even when the task is too physically draining.
Ergonomics can help you save money by spending money on improving your workplace to accommodate your employees’ needs.
Applying good ergonomics includes safety precautions, training, and equipment.
They reduce health-related issues by employees, which can cause business costs to drive up with medical claims.
Medical compensation claims on issues such as MSDs are quite high, and it’s better to prevent these injuries than treat them.
When you take care of your employees, they will feel appreciated and reciprocate by working their best.
Attracts the best employee candidates
If a quality candidate has a few jobs to choose from, one of the factors he will consider is whether the design of the workplace is meant for the employees’ well-being.
“A comfortable environment is a way to excite employees”, said Blake McGowan, a managing consultant at Humantech.
“It keeps employees present at the workplace, and that leads to higher retention of talent.”
An organization that ensures ergonomic efficiency in its employee environment stands out and attracts new hires and top talent.
Improves mental and physical conditions
The application of ergonomic designs combat issues like neck injuries, spinal alignment issues, and the mental well-being of workers, which affect the performance of tasks in the workplace.
A good posture reduces the chances of mis-aligning the spine.
Working while seated for long hours cuts off the circulation of blood to the legs and the central part of the body, affecting both physical health and brain function and can cause musculoskeletal disorders.
A continuous vision problem at the workplace causes headaches and eye strain.
Improves employee engagement
When an employee does not experience fatigue and discomfort while working, it reduces turnover and absenteeism.
It can also increase morale and employee involvement in work.
When you incorporate ergonomics in the workplace, employees will appreciate walking into a healthy environment and they will be more vigorous and efficient in completing assigned tasks.
These benefits of ergonomics are also the reasons for why ergonomics is an important consideration.
Now you know why ergonomics is an important consideration. If you apply good ergonomics into your workstation, it’d help you a lot in supporting your back and reducing health risks. Follow FittingChairs to see more updates.