Contributed By

marissa_slimm

Marissa Slimm

M.Ed, ATC Ergonomist at Comcast Headquarters

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How Workplace Ergonomics Can Make Employees Happy & Boost Business

July 25, 2019

One key step business owners can take to ensure their employees are more comfortable and less prone to injury is by implementing ergonomics into their operations. Ergonomics is the science of designing equipment or tasks for optimization of the human body. Taking a proactive approach on ergonomics can ultimately help save you money by reducing lost-time, medical expenses and worker’s compensation costs.

There’s plenty of research to support the positive effects of wellness programs for businesses. They’re a great tool for better performance, employee retention and ultimately a greater team morale. Health and wellness practices also show employees that you value them and their health, making them feel more appreciated and motivated.

One key step business owners can take to ensure their employees are more comfortable and less prone to injury is by implementing ergonomics into their operations. Ergonomics is the science of designing equipment or tasks for optimization of the human body. Taking a proactive approach on ergonomics can ultimately help save you money by reducing lost-time, medical expenses and worker’s compensation costs.

Start with the Workspace

The implementation of ergonomics for better health and employee retention is relatively simple and it all starts with support from you: the leader. Integrating an ergonomics program into your workplace offers more than posture education. It creates an environment for employees where they not only work comfortably and optimally, but also can enjoy the things they love to do while outside of the office – like exercise without chronic injury, compete at an elite level or play with their children.

Some quick tips for you and your teams:

Adjust Your Chair

  • Ensure your feet are fully supported by the floor or a footrest. This is critical for protecting your low back.
  • The seat pan should be extended so that the edge of the seat is about two finger-widths from the back of your knees.
  • Adjust the armrests so your shoulders are relaxed and your hands rest on the keyboard in front of you.

Adjust Your Monitors

  • Your primary monitor should be directly in front of you. Secondary monitor should be adjacent to the primary monitor and angled toward you.
  • If you use two monitors equally, center yourself between both and angle them toward you
  • Your eyes should be resting at the top 1/3 portion of the screen with your head in a neutral position in order to avoid stress to the muscles along your neck.
  • Monitors should be placed approximately an arm’s length away from you to avoid straining of eyes.

Out of the Office

  • Be mindful of your posture on your daily commute. Do you look down at your phone on the train? Do you drive in a slouched position?
  • Be mindful of how often you respond to emails or texts via cell phone. This causes us to look down for extended periods and could cause straining of neck muscles.
  • Remember to adjust your chair and monitors properly while working remote or at home.
  • When lifting children or other objects use your legs and hips rather than your back.

Encourage Exercise & Work/Life balance

  • Consider employee discounts for a nearby gym or fitness center. This encourages activity and is a great employee perk for hiring.
  • Explore sit/stand desks for yourself and employees. Try alternating standing and sitting approximately every 30 minutes.
  • Make an effort to take the stairs or walk to a coffee shop further away to get some extra steps.
  • Encourage walking to meetings or positioning printers farther from desks. Consider setting up company activities like a softball or kickball team or take part in a 5K run as a company.

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