Applying Ergonomics in an Office Environment

The study of efficiency in a workplace is called ergonomics, and it most often focuses on the rate of efficiency as it relates to physical comfort levels. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends the use of ergonomically designed furniture in office settings as preventative measures against certain musculoskeletal disorders. By implementing designs which customize work stations to employees, employers can significantly cut down on workplace illness and injury by relieving stress on muscles, bones, and joints.

Ergonomic Furniture

The two most important pieces of furniture in an office are the desk and the chair. These two structures need to work together in order to ensure the maximum comfort and efficiency of an employee. Employees who deal with the following symptoms while at work could be in need of more ergonomically oriented work stations:

  • Discomfort
  • Difficulty reaching objects on the desk
  • Feeling constricted or restrained
  • Limited range of motion
  • Repetitive motion issues

Well-designed office furniture will be adjustable, which allows employees to customize their station to account for their size or chiropractic conditions. OSHA recommends a standard corner desk design with shelving and drawers that offer maximum storage within arm’s reach. Unfortunately, many “modern” office furniture designs actually cause problems by failing to taking ergonomics into account. Employers who sacrifice comfort in exchange for aesthetics will ultimately suffer as their employees are unable to perform to satisfaction. Poor ergonomics can lead to employees feeling:

  • Stiff or aching after sitting at their desks
  • Dizzy or ill after long stretches of working
  • Abnormally tired, which leads to a slower working pace

A wise employer will take these factors into account when designing his or her workplace, in order to ensure comfort, satisfaction, and success.

Contact a WorkSTEPS Representative Today

At WorkSTEPS, our representatives know how to implement ergonomic standards that will please everyone in your office. Contact our Austin offices today by calling 512-617-4100 to find out more about how we can help you.