On average, individuals are estimated to spend approximately 90,000 hours at work throughout their lifetime, which accounts for roughly one-third of their life span. With such a significant amount of time spent in the workplace, employee health and well-being are increasingly becoming a top priority for employers.
One important aspect of creating a healthy and productive workplace is the use of ergonomic furniture which is specifically designed to reduce the risk of workplace injuries and to provide comfort and support to employees, ultimately leading to increased productivity and better overall health.
In this article, we will explore the importance of ergonomic furniture in the workplace, including the benefits it provides and some of the factors to consider when choosing ergonomic furniture for an office environment.
What Is Ergonomic Furniture?
Unlike traditional office furniture which is often designed to be aesthetically pleasing or made to be affordable, ergonomic furniture is designed to fit the human body and place priority on employees’ health and comfort. Designed with the user in mind, ergonomic furniture typically includes features such as adjustable height, lumbar support, and armrests that can be customized to fit different body types and job tasks.
As people spend increasing amounts of time at work sitting at their desks, workplace injuries such as back pain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome can develop as a result of prolonged sitting and poor ergonomics. Not only do these injuries cause discomfort for employees, but they also lead to decreased productivity and higher healthcare costs for both employers and employees.
Ergonomic furniture such as that available at Freedman’s Office Furniture is designed to provide maximum comfort and support while minimizing the risk of workplace injuries. By investing in ergonomic furniture, employers can help their employees avoid common injuries and boost their productivity at the same time.
The Benefits of Ergonomic Furniture
One of the main benefits of ergonomic furniture is that it can help reduce workplace injuries. By providing support and encouraging good posture, ergonomic furniture can help prevent back pain, neck pain, and other common workplace injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can be prevented through ergonomics interventions such as furniture which can help lessen muscle fatigue, increase productivity, and reduce the number and severity of work-related MSDs.
In addition to injury prevention, ergonomic furniture can also help to boost productivity. According to findings from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) back pain can cause companies to lose up to $51,400 annually for every 100 employees due to lost productivity. When employees are comfortable and well-supported, they are more able to focus on their work and less likely to be distracted by discomfort or pain, leading to increased productivity, higher quality work, and fewer mistakes.
Another benefit of ergonomic furniture is its role in helping to reduce absenteeism. Ergonomic statistics from Fargo Ergonomics have found that MSDs typically result in a median of eight days away from work, which is higher than the six-day median for all nonfatal injury and illness cases. By investing in ergonomic furniture, employers can help their employees stay healthy and avoid missed work days due to workplace injuries.
How to Choose the Right Ergonomic Furniture
Below are some tips to help you choose the right ergonomic furniture for your workplace.
- Consider adjustability: Look for furniture that can be adjusted to fit different body types and job tasks. For example, adjustable desks can be raised or lowered to accommodate employees of different heights.
- Look for support: Look for chairs with good lumbar support and armrests, as well as desks with ergonomic keyboard trays that encourage good posture.
- Test it: Encourage employees to test out different ergonomic furniture options before making a purchase. This will help ensure that they find furniture that is comfortable and supportive for their specific needs.
While investing in ergonomic furniture may seem like an expensive proposition, it can save employers money in the long run. According to ergonomic consultant Dan McLeod, the use of ergonomic furniture can increase worker productivity by 10% to 15% compared to those who do not use such furniture, and workstations that incorporate ergonomic desks and chairs experience an even greater increase in output, with a typical increase of 25%. By reducing workplace injuries and increasing productivity, ergonomic furniture can lead to lower healthcare costs, fewer missed workdays, and higher-quality work.
In addition to ergonomic furniture, employers can take other steps to promote good ergonomics in the workplace such as encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the day to stretch and move around as well as provide training on proper lifting techniques and other workplace safety practices.
Ergonomic furniture is an important investment for any workplace and one that values the health and productivity of its employees. By working with employees to find the right ergonomic furniture for their specific needs, employers can help ensure a comfortable and safe workplace and help create a culture of safety and wellness that benefits all.